GHost at Camberwell Free Film Festival 2017

GHost is back to curate another ghost film classic for Camberwell Free Film Festival 2017
GHost has selected Kiyoshi Kurosawa‘s hauntingly disturbing KAIRO.

This film is currently out of distribution in the UK and so rarely screened.  Not to be missed for any ghost film and horror fans out there

(Kiyoshi Kurosawa 2001)
Jazz Live at the Crypt

 St Giles Church Camberwell
Camberwell Church Street
6th April 2017
Door open at 8pm
Arrive in good time to secure a seat

Camberwell Free Film Festival brings another cult ghost film to the Crypt of St Giles Church. Don’t miss this rarely screened and hauntingly disturbing film from Kiyoshi Kurosawa
After college student Taguchi (Kenji Mizuhashi) commits suicide, a number of young adults living in Tokyo witness terrifying visions transferred across the internet. As more people disappear throughout the city, the Internet becomes a breeding ground for malevolent spirits. Three seemingly disconnected stories follow Michi (Kumiko Aso), Ryosuke (Haruhiko Katô) and Harue (Koyuki) as they attempt to solve the mystery behind the ghostly visions that are seeping beyond their computer monitors.
Doors open at 8.00.
Arrive in good time to secure seat.
Jazz Live at the Crypt are our hosts and will have their bar open for the night.

Posted in Hostings | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The GHost Formula

The GHost Formula at FACT

GHost presents a new commission, The GHost Formula, funded by FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology) and Arts Council England.  The installation can be found at FACT and also at Williamson Tunnels, Liverpool.  A GHost research area has been created for FACT and two GHost Tunnels installed at both venues with the proposition that they are portals between each space.

The work is part of the exhibition No Such Thing as Gravity curated by Rob La Frenais

Read the Liverpool ghost stories and find out about the Liverpool GHost Hostings collected and curated by Sarah Sparkes of GHost as part of this project at the GHost Portal sister website here.

Posted in Hostings | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

GHost at CFFF2016: Girls will be Ghouls!

GHost is back to host two nights of ghost and horror films for the fantastic Camberwell FREE Film Festival.

Join us, in the Crypt of St Giles Church, for one vintage and one contemporary classic movie featuring fiendish female characters as central protagonists.  Please arrive early to secure a seat.

Carnival of Souls (1962. Dir: Herk Harvey)
Weds 6 April
Doors open 7pm, screening commences at 8pm
Venue: Jazz Live in the Crypt, St Giles Church, SE5 8RB

As the lone survivor after traumatic car accident, Mary rebuilds her life as a church organist, but her music has an increasingly creepy quality and she becomes drawn to a mysterious abandoned carnival where she must confront her demons, but is the zombie like man pursuing her all in her imagination?

A Girls Walks Home Alone at Night (2014. Dir: Ana Lily Amirpour,)
Thursday 7 April
Doors open 8pm, screening commences at 9pm

Venue: Jazz Live in the Crypt, St Giles Church, SE5 8RB

Strange things are afoot in Bad City. The Iranian ghost town – home to prostitutes, junkies, pimps and other sordid souls – is a place that reeks of death and hopelessness, where a lonely vampire is stalking the town’s most unsavoury inhabitants. Iranian-American film director Ana Lily Amirpour, weaves an innovative and enthralling tale teeming with originality and beauty for her killer feature debut.

Posted in Hostings | Leave a comment

GHost Noise at Greenwich Noise Colloquium

GHost Noise at Greenwich Noise Colloquium.
GHost Noise theory

Sarah Sparkes and Phillip Raymond Goodman
Venue: University of Greenwich, Stockwell Street Building

  • 21st – 22nd Mar 2015
  • 11:00am – 9:00pm Saturday; 11:30am – late Sunday
    event website

In 1948, Claude E. Shannon proposed a theory of information in which transmissions of intended/expected data are categorized as ‘signal’ and the unintended or unexpected as ‘noise’. Jane D. Marsching and others (Jeffery Sconce, Erik Davis for instance) have noted how ‘noise’ in information transmission, such as static on radios or visual distortions on television or computer screens, have been identified as paranormal phenomena. In digital media this ‘noise’ is identified as the ‘glitch’. Noise and glitch disrupt the coherent information in the signal between transmitter and receiver. Often this interference comes from an unseen source, a ghostly presence (or absence) if you like. In the absence of decipherable information, the human mind reaches within noise to find meaning. Patterns and voices are imagined to create form to the formless. Some artists have exploited this uncanny potential in noise to create artworks which affect the spectator with a sense of otherworldliness.

A Poltergeist is a type of ghost which manifests through disruptive noise – knockings, rapping’s, rattling. The word poltergeist is Germanic in origin, a composite of polter (to make noise) + geist (ghost). A poltergeist could be seen as a disembodied heckler, disrupting proceedings with noise or through the violent movement of objects.

GHost manifesting through, Sarah Sparkes and Phillip Raymond Goodman, proposes to haunt the conference, like a heckling poltergeist, with a number of noisy ‘disruptions’

Posted in Hostings | Leave a comment

GHost at Camberwell Free Film Festival

bannerGHost is hosting two nights of classic ghost films at St Giles Church Camberwell as part of Camberwell Free Film Festival

These are FREE events. No tickets required, arrive early to get the best seats and enjoy the accompanying installation artworks and performances before the feature film commences.

26 March, The Innocents, 6.45pm – 8.00pm exhibition and bar open, 8.00pm film commences.
Venue, The Knave, St Giles Church, Camberwell Church Street, SE5 8RB
27 March, Kwaidan, 8.00pm – 8.30pm performances in and around The Crypt, St Giles Church, Camberwell Church street, SE5 8RB

The screenings are accompanied by an exhibition of installations and performances with artists: Sarah Doyle, Jennie Fagerstrom, Miyuki Kasahara, Calum F Kerr, Joanna McCormick, Anne Robinson, Sarah Sparkes, Charlotte Squire, Sally Waterman and John Workman.

The Innocents (Dir: Jack Clayton, 1961, UK/US, Cert 12A, 100 mins) is a classic British supernatural gothic horror film directed and produced by Jack Clayton. Starring Deborah Kerr in a career-best performance the film achieves its effects through lighting, music and direction rather than conventional shocks.
Miss Giddens (Deborah Kerr) applies for a job as a governess. It is to be her first position, but the wealthy bachelor interviewing her (Michael Redgrave) is unconcerned with her lack of experience. He values his freedom to travel and socialise and unabashedly confesses that he has “no room, mentally or emotionally” for his orphaned niece and nephew, who were left in his care as infants and live at his country estate. However, Miss Giddens slowly starts to convince herself that the house, grounds and two children in her care are haunted. The Innocents is based on the Henry James ghost story novella The Turn of the Screw (1898).

Kwaidan (Masaki Kobayashi, 1965, 185 minutes)  features dreamlike ghost tales adapted from Lafcadio Hearn’s collections of Japanese folk stories of the same name. This lavish, widescreen production drew extensively on director Kobayashi’s own training as a student of painting and fine arts. Toru Takemitsu’s innovative score compliments the extraordinary and beautiful visuals. This film is rarely screened – don’t miss it!
The film consists of four separate and unrelated stories. The Black Hair, Hoichi The Earless, In a Cup of Tea and The Woman of The Snow. We encourage you to stay and watch all four stories!

Sally Waterman, ‘The Turn of the Screw’ photographic ‘still movie’ (2001) Turn of the Screw Sally waterman ‘The Turn of the Screw’ is an autobiographical interpretation of Henry James novel. It explores the issue of sexual and social repression of Victorian culture, in relation to childhood innocence through an ambiguous interplay between the existence of ghosts and the hallucinations of a neurotic governess played out by a surrogate self. In this brief extract, the viewer follows in her footsteps, tracing the precise moment when she glimpses the ghost of Peter Quint, who becomes representative of Waterman’s estranged father, peering in through the window, to her futile attempt to confront him outside, only to be faced with a discomforting, empty landscape. The unsettling silence emphasizes the inherent qualities of ghostliness and invisibility that emerge from Waterman’s elusive self-portraits, as the governess tries to understand what is real and what is imagined.
Biography: Sally Waterman employs literary adaptation as a mechanism for self-portraiture, creating photographic and video works that explore memory, place and familial relationships. Drawing upon writers such as T.S Eliot, Henry James and Virginia Woolf, she re-invents the source material through a fragmentary re-scripting exercise, seeking autobiographical associations with certain images, themes, characters or concepts. Waterman received her PhD in Media & Photography at the University of Plymouth in 2011. Recent exhibitions include Ruskin Gallery, Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge (Solo, 2012), Camberwell Space, London and Künstlerhaus Dortmund, Germany (Group, 2013). Her work is held in public collections including the National Art Library, V&A, London and the Yale Center for British Art, New York. She has lectured at Plymouth College of Art and the University of Plymouth and is currently an associate lecturer at Ravensbourne, London.

John Workman, ‘PAINTING THE PAST’ Hand-painted lightboxes of various dimensionsjohn_workman-pastoral__gallery_image

John Workman’s lightbox pieces show a world that has gone. Metal lightboxes, salvaged from disused darkrooms, hold landscapes painted on glass, the light inside glowing through the painted clouds and trees like the dying light in a Claude Lorrain painting. Although the boxes belong to the industrial 20th century, they suggest with their illuminated images an older period, the Victorian era, with its magic lanterns and sentimental nostalgia for the past. The images themselves belong to an even more distant time; they are taken from paintings of the 18th or 17th century, idealised landscapes depicting scenes from a biblical or classical past that was already remote in time, or perhaps never existed.
See more of John’s work on the London Art website

Jennie Fagerstrom, ‘Skogsrå’, Lanterns, various materials

Jennie Fagerstrom

Jennie Fagerstrom brings intimate lanterns to light the loss of way and figures of the non existence to cause erasure of the real. Images referencing the female skogsrå of nordic mythology, seductively luring men to their doom in the lost depth of the forest. Born in Sweden, lives and works in London. Studied Fine Art at Central Saint Martin’s College of Art & Design, London. She uses the body and movement as a means of inspiration and expression to create sequences. Translating her ideas onto the fragile nature of paper, supported by low tech and light. Her work touches on the notion of romanticism and nostalgia. Recent showings and exhibitions- St Leonards Church LCV event March 2013 ” Follow the Lanterns. The Sea and I EP launch with London Contemporary Voices” Stroud SITE Festival 2012 May, group exhibit “Golden is Silence” Studio 23 Netil House London June 2012 Coming soon- Clerkenwell Design Week London May 2013 Performance and installation night Stockholm, Sweden 25 May 2013

Miyuki Kasahara & Calum F Kerr, ‘Yakumo’s Echo’, performance and interventionsmiyukiKoizumi Yakumo is the Japanese name of Lafcadio Hearn, the Irish Greek author who living in Japan wrote ‘Kwaidan: Stories and Studies of Strange Things’ (1903) an adaption of Japanese folk stories to which the film ‘Kwaidan’ (1965) is based. This performance by Miyuki Kasahara & Calum F Kerr will, through gesture and sound, be an echo of the tales rendered so strikingly in Masaki Kobayashi‘s film.

Anne Robinson,’Riders’ 2014, 15 mins video loop with sound
All at once a mighty herd they saw, slipping and sliding across the screen and in and out of consciousness…riding on forever through time and space

anne robinson ghost riders

Anne Robinson is a senior lecturer in Film Studies (0.6) and a practicing artist. Her specialist area of research is artists’ film and video, focusing in particular on artists’ experiments with time and duration in moving image work. She is a member of the steering committee for The Facility Centre for Creative Practice as Research at London Met andcurated the event One More Time in October 2011. She has previously curated symposia and screenings including:Time, Flesh and Nerve in 2006 and Slip Frame in 2007.
Anne’s practice encompasses moving image installations, painting and performance and is concerned with the perception and politics of time passing. Her practice-led PhD work explored temporality, film and painting and she is also interested in expanded cinema and surrealism. She has shown work nationally and internationally, including recently working with the Comm(o)nist Gallery on song-films and performance interventions and showing installation works at GHost IV in London.
Anne Robinson will be showing her work at Vital Excess Exhibition

Joanna McCormick, ‘Singing Ghost’, Performancesinging ghost in nunhead2
The live art piece “Singing Ghost” explores the context of song lyrics and how the meaning of a song shifts sharply when sung by a ghost. The piece is a medley of covers interwoven with my own ‘song poems’ and ghost sounds that creates a multi layered performance examining notions of love, loss and our contemporary perceptions of the meaning of death. For “Kwaidan” on March 27th The Singing Ghost will have a Japanese twist.A self employed fine artist with a socially engaged practice and a studio space at a South East London primary school, Joanna works across different art forms from oil painting and watercolour to live art and taxidermy. “My focus is on surrealism and naivism, and I strive to evoke an emotionally engaged response in the viewer.”
Joanna has exhibited widely both at home and internationally, with Birmingham’s Ikon Gallery, The Fashion and Textile Museum in London, The Royal Parks at Richmond, The Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew and The National Trust.
She lives in London with her two children.

Sarah Doyle ‘The Woman of the Snow’,  Installation, 2014

Sarah Doyle’s work for Ghost at Camberwell Film Festival is inspired by the story “The Woman of the Snow” from the film Kwaidan. The story depicts the folkloric character of Yuki-onna, a ghostly female figure who inhabits snowy regions. The set design for this story in the film is filled with haunting images of the woman’s eyes looking out from the snowy sky. Sarah Doyle has created snowflakes (or Sarah Doyle Doylies) inspired by these haunting set designs that incorporate this image
Sarah Doyle’s work explores the construction of identity through visual culture and has developed a practice looking at the emulation of icons and obsessions. She is an interdisplinary artist working a variety of media including, painting, drawing, animation, etchings, etc. She has shown her art internationally in Japan, America and Germany and has collaborated with Elle magazine, Transition Gallery, Tatty Devine, Surface 2 Air, Arty Magazine. Her animation work was shown at the Whitechapel Gallery as part of the Late Nights Programme and she was the winner of the New Artist Category at The Elle Style Awards. Sarah studied Art at Manchester Metropolitan University and Central Saint Martins College of Art London.
Sarah Doyle’s Blog

Charlotte Squire, “Betwix and Between”, installation, 2014
charlotte 2

Interior and exterior collide in these dark wooden spaces. Light shines to without, reflection peers inward. Wires tangle like roots.
A couple stand together, odd presences that have an otherness, they seem to be keeping each other company against the world at large.

Sarah Sparkes ‘NEVER AFRAID – Giant Killer


‘Giant Killer’, an illuminated sign with slowly pulsing fairy lights, hangs over a doorway spelling out the artists maxim ‘NEVER AFRAID’ a phrase that crops up repeatedly in the artist’s work. It is both an invitation and a challenge to cross the threshold.
Sarah Sparkes is an artist, curator and lecturer primarily concerned with concepts of immateriality and how this might be visualised through contemporary art. Her work often interrogates the presence of magic in the domestic and everyday, both as supernatural force and as legerdemain and is an investigation into the belief systems and material symbols we adopt to mediate with the unknowable. Recent exhibitions include: Theatrical Dynamics at Torrance Art Museum, Los Angeles; The Infinity Show at NN Contemporary, Northampton, and Uncanny Landscapes at the Centre for Creative Collaboration, London. Between 2009 – 2012 she was a research fellow at the School of Advanced study, University of London where she was commissioned to create a public art work at Senate House in response to The Harry Price Library of Magical Literature. She runs the visual arts and cross-disciplinary research project GHost, which explores how ghosts are manifested in visual art and contemporary culture. Her chapter on GHost has been published in The Ashgate Research Companion to Paranormal Cultures and is available (2014). She is founder of The Chutney Preserves, performance collective who appeared at Supernormal 2013. She lectures widely on her own practise, the GHost project and Harry Price. She is an Associate Lecturer for the University of the Arts, lecturing in Independent Curating and Painting.

Posted in Exhibitions | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hostings 14 – GHost-dance IV: the ghost without, the ghost within

GHost Hostings 14 – GHost-dance IV: the ghost without, the ghost within

A night of three distinct performances exploring ghosts as socio-cultural movement and human energy from without and within.


Hostings 14 images, Stasis 73, Eleanor Clare, London Lucumi Choir photo by Nadjib Le Fleurier

6.30pm – 9.30pm
Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design, Studio Theatre, Granary Square, London, N1C 4AA
GHost hosts an evening of cross-disciplinary performance which continue to explore the GHost-dance theme.

GHost Hostings 14 is supported by the Drama And Performance Programme. Central St Martins School of Arts

Eventbrite - GHost Hostings 14 - GHost-dance IV: the ghost without, the ghost within
Home. Stasis 73
I Am Still Within You. Eleanor Clare, Kam Wan and Marcus Davidson.
The energy of Orisha, In Art Dance and Song: A multi-disciplined look at Yoruban deities. Daniela Rosselson De Armas and The London Lucumi Choir
Note: running order may be subject to change

Home. Stasis 73
“The house I had they took away from me. The times happened to be unpropitious: war, destruction, exile.
I don’t know much about houses, I remember their joy and their sorrow
sometimes, when I stop to think…………….
sometimes, near the sea, in naked rooms with a single iron bed and
nothing of my own, watching the evening spider.”
George Seferis

NO 1-1HOME is of an immersive live sound, movement and projection performance consisting of drones and sonic explorations, utilizing manipulated and effected instruments and imagery, field recordings, voice and text, creating an atmosphere of sorrow and longing.
Referencing the ghost of deracination, and the idea of the created boundaries between migrating societies and their cultures : utilizing an empty interior as a signifier for the longing and sorrow for the lost ‘home’ to animate the movement between the two places of physical and psychological dislocation.
“It wasn’t easy, because you leave your home,
your possessions, your memories,
your youth,you leave your dead there………
and carry their memories in music & dance”.
Ali Oney removed from Rethymno Crete to Ayvalik Turkey. Population Exchange 1923

Stasis73 formed in 2009 by a collective of creatives from Hastings, film makers, painters, writers and musicians. The aim of the project is to move beyond the concerns of more traditional music making, yet not fall into the trap of being labelled experimental. Live sound and film installations of drones and sonic explorations, utilizing electro-acoustic manipulated pure noise, voice, text, whisperings, field recordings, decay, extended drones, and original, found & archive imagery, creating a multi-layered environment.

I Am Still Within You. Eleanor Clare, Kam Wan and Marcus Davidson.
elenor clare
The suggestion of a journey, magical and mystical, at times painful; the need to connect to something constant. Between darkness & twilight is where this work belongs: a sight just half seen. Visions appear transiently in the space between sleep & waking, the unconscious and conscious. The moon becomes symbolic because of its association with the feminine and its constant transformation from dark to light. One can take solace in the idea that there is something (albeit elusive) which resides through the process of change, dispersion, disintegration and regeneration.

I Am Still Within You is devised by Eleanor Clare, Kam Wan and Marcus Davidson. It will be performed by Eleanor Clare, Alexandra Anzemberger, Sharon Bowen & Maddy Cullen. During the performance, singers move through the darkness. At times they will be lit by the projection, but the emphasis will be on the affect of their voices in the space, and the movement of sound with a sense of physical presence.
Eleanor Clare, Kam Wan and Marcus Davidson have been collaborating on this project since 2013. The concept was initiated by Eleanor Clare, through lyrics and a basic melody, with an idea of moving through darkness. Kam Wan created and devised the film projection and installation, using footage of the moon which he had been collecting over time. Marcus Davidson created the sound track and the vocal harmony, working with his own research into music devised from the sounds of space. The genesis of this project can be traced back to the artist and composer Ellen Southern, who invited Eleanor Clare to produce new work taking inspiration from her remix score of ‘The Brilliant and the Dark.’ The showing of this work is kindly supported by Bergen Kommune, Norway.


‘London Lucumi Choir’ photograph © Nadjib Le Fleurier

The energy of Orisha, In Art Dance and Song: A multi-disciplined look at Yoruban deities. Daniela Rosselson De Armas and The London Lucumi Choir
THE LONDON LUCUMI CHOIR: The London Lucumi Choir was formed in November 2006. It is still directed and led by one of its founder members, Daniela Rosselson De Armas, who is a musician and a Priestess of Oshun. It is an unusual choir which sings songs for Orisha; deities that mediate between human beings and God ( Olofi) as sun in Cuba and other countries in the African Diaspora. Although it is a non audition community choir, it works with highly qualified and knowledgeable artists and priests of the tradition. The songs that are sung within the choir are cultural representations of songs that are actually sung today within ceremonial contexts. They are accompanied by Bata drums. Bata drums are three drums that are played together to form complex rhythms that also connect to what is being sung. In a ceremonial context, the songs’ purpose is to “bring down” the Orisha to “mount” their initiates. The Orisha then dance, cleanse and give advise to the congregation. Obviously in a performance or cultural context this does not happen! The choir became finalists of the BBC Radio Three choir competition of the year in 2008 and have opened for big stars such as Eliades Ochoa ( Buena Vista Social Club) and Buika. They have performed at festivals, charity events, clubs and conferences and educational days at schools and are looking forward to playing at GHost. The performance at GHost Hostings will demonstrate a selection of songs to Orisha illustrated by dance moves which show the energy of the different Orisha by Afro Cuban Dancer, Yolanda Perez. It will be accompanied by a slide show which demonstrate Religious Altars, Orisha in nature and some wonderful art work by Contemporary Artists, Janine Francois. ( introducing Oshun) and Jacob V Joyce. Jacob will also be giving a run down on each Orisha in his own, inimitable style.


Posted in Hostings | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

GHost Hostings 13 – GHost-dance III: time travelling mediums

GHost Hostings 13 – GHost-dance III: time travelling mediums

Anne Robinson ‘Is It You’ video 2012

February 17th 6.30 – 9.30

Central St. Martins College of Arts and Design, LVH E003, Granary Square London, Nr Kings Cross, London, N1C 4AA

GHost hosts an evening of talks and performative presentations exploring the idea of ghosts as material transmutations in time. GHost Hostings 13 is supported by the Centre for Performance, Central St Martins School of Arts


Vicky Smith. Haunting a medium through physical residue.

Jessica Worden. Materialising the Body: Material Phenomena and Sartre’s Theory of Viscosity

Anne Robinson. Is It You? Time travel and Physical Thinking

Eleanor Bowen.  Drawing and Longing

Tickets are FREE but please register in advance to reserve a seat. You will be sent an e-ticket which you should print and bring with you on the night:

Eventbrite - GHost Hostings 13 - GHost-dance III: time travelling mediums


Vicky Smith: Haunting a medium through physical residue.

Vicky Smith

I will talk about how imagery created directly onto film can deal with things that have been abandoned or are undervalued. Using clips from my recent film/ performance, 36 Frames Per Feet, I will illustrate how film, once inhabited, now presents only the trace of the absent body. I will discuss this in relation to Walter Benjamin’s meditation on the modern body in an age of animated machinery and his suggestion that the death of a technology releases the hopes which were embedded in it at its birth.

Early cinema was proclaimed as ‘life itself’ (Doane, 2008). I will show how, by enlivening film with my own body and refusing to let film die, my research corresponds to the concerns of Ghosting with regard to themes of absence, presence, the politics of commodification and as a lamentation for what is lost.

Vicky Smith’s practice incorporates experimental animation and performance. Her work will be shown at The Tate Britain this Feb, 2014, and has recently been exhibited at:  No., London (2013) Lo and Behold, London (2012/2013), 100 Feet touring (2013-14) Edinburgh Film Festival (2012),  Melbourne Experimental Film Festival (2012).  Recently published work includes: Full Body Film in Sequence (2013). She was Workshop Organiser at the LFMC , lectured in Film Studies at UWE,  and is currently at UCA, teaching Digital Film and Screen Arts and researching into the aura and trace using films made without cameras.

Jessica Worden. Materialising the Body: Material Phenomena and Sartre’s Theory of Viscosity. (because slimy substances stick to the hands , and clothes, and because they stain) — Sartre, 1943.

Sartre describes the viscous in terms of its qualities, trying to create parameters around a state that is ‘always fleeing’. (Sartre, 1943) There is ample critique of Sartre’s theory of viscosity (the slimy)— particularly the use of feminine metaphors to describe its negative attributes. By applying the properties of viscosity to the role of material phenomena in altering definition(s) of the female body, it is possible to underline the radical nature of these performances and potentially reclaim the viscous. Ectoplasms have been extensively cataloged and documented since the 1880’s; the advent of their distinctly material ormations occurred simultaneously with the changing roles of women in society. Viscosity defies definition; it is my intention to suggest through visual and textual re-appropriation ways in which women utilised ectoplasmic manifestations to influence the definition their bodies and modes of (re)production by embracing viscosity.

I am a Dutch/American artist currently undertaking a practice-based PhD in Breathlessness in Performance in the Contemporary Performance department at Brunel University. I have been working with live art since 2005, having also run a live-arts platform from 2006-2008 in Rotterdam, NL. My practice is influenced by photography, but based in performance writing. I produce artist books, installations and performance pieces. My aim is to explore writing-as-performance and the interplay between the visual and the textual

Anne Robinson. Is It You? Time travel and Physical Thinking

Anne Robinson ‘Is It You’

This paper focuses on the two-screen performative video work, Is It You? a ‘ghost dance’ with polyrhythmic patterns made in response to the spectral traces of physically ‘remembered’ songs (including Toots and the Maytalls’ Pressure Drop). Is It You? engages with the ‘frame’ as temporal marker, using slow shutter-speeds and high speed filming to capture the ‘same’ moments in time using different time bases. This is an unsettling experience of time deconstructed through cinematic devices which catches the spectator in a circuit of afterimages and pushes them into a strange, dissonant perceptual dimension, parallel to the temporal alterations in shamanic drumming. The experience of sound in the work is also immersive, pushing language to the threshold of recognisable auditory form. The talk draws on a body of practice-led research into temporality and philosophical perspectives from Merleau-Ponty, Deleuze and Gidal. Extracts from Is It You? (2012), Que Sera (2010) and Inside Out Blues (2013).

Anne Robinson’s practice encompasses painting, moving image and performance and is concerned with the perception and politics of time passing, recently working with the Commonist Gallery, ‘Winter Shuffle’, Supernormal, Psi19 and GHost IV following a PhD on temporality, film and painting. In summer 2013, she took part in the ‘DeTours’ residency in Marseilles, resulting in the performative song-film ‘Inside Out Blues’. She works with film as an artist and educator, currently senior lecturer in Film at LMU, curating the event One More Time there in 2011.

Eleanor Bowen. Drawing and Longing

Eleanor Bowen

My presentation for GHost is developed from material that was published in Performance Research, ‘On Choreography’ (Vol. 13: 2, 2008). It investigates the alchemical notion of parastasis as phenomenon of haunting that, rooted in the ancient desire to stop time by replicating or fixing the present, was eventually realised in the photograph. Such a haunting does not relate to the making of photographs, the spirit world of the darkroom, but reflects the unseen presence of the camera itself and its relationship as such to time travel. Incorporated into the presentation are readings of snaps from ancestral albums, found photos and pinhole images made in an underground archaeological site, not a burial but the archive of an archaeologist who was also my father.

Eleanor Bowen is a writer and visual artist, currently with a studio practice in London. She holds an MA in Visual Art and Theatre and a practice-based PhD from Wimbledon School of Art, in which she explored the relationship between early photographic practice and drawing. Publications include contributions to Performance Research, ‘Lexicon’ (11: 3, 2007) and ‘On Choreography’ (13: 2, 2008),, ‘Between Laughter and Crying’, co-written chapter with Dr Laura Gonzalez for ‘Madness, Women and the Power of Art’, Oxford, Inter-Disciplinary Press (2014) which is to be developed as a co-performed text for ACTS RE-ACTS (March 2014, Wimbledon College of Arts).

Posted in Hostings | Leave a comment

GHost Hostings 12 – GHost-dance II

GHost presents a new series of Hostings – ‘GHost-dance’ – exploring the idea of ghosts as cultural and political movement.  GHost is supported by the Centre for Performance at CSM

Hostings 12: GHost-dance II
21st May 6.00 – 9.30



Central St. Martins College of Arts and Design, Studio Theatre, Granary Square, Kings Cross, London, N1C 4AA

Gen Doy, Song for the Deaf and Blind. Song for the Deaf and Blind was first performed in early 2013 at the Huguenot Cemetery in Wandsworth Town, south London, where it was recorded for an installation. This performance develops some key themes of Gen Doy’s work….the attempt to bear witness to, and to remember, people subjected to injustice and violence by forces of the state, the importance of history and those marginalised by mainstream historical narratives, the power of site-specific commemorative acts and the ways in which the past returns not as nostalgia, but to come into collision with the present.

Gen Doy was a lecturer and researcher for many years at De Montfort University before taking early retirement to develop her art practice. She lives in London, and has two grown-up sons. Her works have been exhibited, installed, and broadcast on radio.         Gen works with written and spoken texts, field-recordings, still and moving images, and performance, to construct narratives that are not linear, but suggestive and open to creative interpretation by the listener/viewer. The voice has become important in her work, as she exploits its sensual and seductive potential, to bring to light and sound people and events hidden or forgotten. The words of people from the past, and emotions from barely smouldering embers, pass through the flesh of her body and live again in her voiced breath. Her aim is to make poetic art with “guts”.

Christian Weaver: Trillando en el cajón: mediating positive and negative forces in the realm of the dead through music and dance. In the 21st century Cuban capital, Havana, and throughout much of the island, communities of diverse and mixed origins dance with the ghosts of their ancestors on a daily basis. The ceremony known variously as ‘cajón pa’ los murtos’, ‘cajón espiritual’, ‘cajón pa’egun’, or simply ‘un cajón’ makes use of espiritist techniques, along with sentimental, spiritual and ritual elements of various religions to extract useful advice, guidance and cleansing from ancestor spirits. The ‘cajón espiritual’ has its roots among Cuba’s marginalised and disposed who sought reassurance and support from both their direct ancestors and various international ancestor spirits who’s repute or power made them attractive as guides. The tools they chose were simply those at hand, and whose efficacy was already established to them. Not the least of these being drumming (in this case on wooden boxes, from where the ceremony derives its name, cajón), singing and dancing, as participatory acts. Although the cajón includes potent elements and symbols taken from a range of influences (including Lukumí, and Native American), the principal elements are derived from Catholic and Congo religious practices, and to a lesser, but still important, extent, Kardecism. The process through which these forces are meditated and usefulness extracted, is known as trillando (from the Spanish verb trillar, to thresh). Powerful religious and spiritual fragments are threshed together within the ritually controlled environment of the cajón in order that the beneficial can be separated from the unavoidable (and balancing) negative. This paper examines the central role of music and dance in the process of trillando, how social cohesion is encouraged through participation in these activities, and the relationship with the dead enacted in order that social usefulness is extracted and exploited by the community.

As an initiated drummer, Christian Weaver regularly performs ritual music for ceremonies in Havana. He has researched the music and dance of Afro-Cuban religions, and the vernacular music of Cuba’s urban poor, since 1994. He was awarded his PhD in Ethnomuiscology in 2010.

Mitsu Salmon: Skating.   I studied and performed the Butoh dance form in Japan for three years. Butoh emerged after WW2 and sought to embody ancestors, ghosts and darker aspects of the psyche. In this piece I draw from Butoh’s use of possession and exploration of the unconscious.    ‘Skating’ is a dance/ theatre piece about embodying histories, searching for identity and failure.
The piece begins with looking for a role model as a Japanese American young girl and being unable to find one. Then while watching the Olympics with my grandparents, who are from Japan, I discovered the Olympic ice skater Kristy Yamaguchi. Afterwards I began ice-skating. Throughout the piece I speak of my family’s history, that of my grandmother growing up in Japan during WW2 and my grandfather being Japanese in the USA army. My grandfather was in the USA occupational forces in Japan and his fellow soldiers were in internment camps during the war in the states.
While imitating Kristy Yamaguchi through movement, projected footage of the ice-skater herself is intersected with film of the USA occupation of Japan. I fall repeatedly, failing to achieve an ideal Japanese American identity and also struggling to shed my family histories. The dance is how my body holds the painful histories of my ancestries – ghosts of war and assimilation.
‘Skating’ explores the intersection of personal history to cultural history. The piece begins with humour and story telling and builds to a dance where my ancestors ghosts ate channeled and exorcised.
Mitsu Salmon is currently a MFA student in performance at the School for the Art Institute in Chicago. She creates original performance and visual works, which fuse multiple disciplines and cultures. She was born in Los Angeles, California and studied experimental theatre and painting at NYU. She has lived and created work in India, England, Germany, Amsterdam, Japan and Bali. She has presented at places such as Performance Space 122, Dance Theatre Workshop, Highways Performance Space, Links Hall, the Berlin Performance Art Festival and the London Performance Art Festival.

Michelle Hannah, Licht und Blindheit

“There is a strong sense of Romanticism in my practice, mainly in the roles which sound, performance and expanded cinema has in tackling the themes of metaphysics and science fiction. BLACKCAT is a performance of an appropriated and fragmented version of Bowie’s Cat People by means of a vocal processor. The starting point of this is from its esoteric femininity to create BLACKCAT as a visual presentation of channeling vocals and cosmic noise as form, presented as a dispersed engagement between myself as ‘blind ‘ ethereal performer and you as a viewer. I wear theatrical white blind contacts to erase my sight. Blinded and struck for a moment, this ‘illuminated singer’ no longer discerns the limits of the room. I become at once trapped in the point of darkness and light.”

Michelle Hannah is a Glasgow based artist born in Alexandria, Scotland and a graduate from the Master of Fine Art course at Glasgow School of Art. Selected exhibitions/performances/screenings include NGCA, Modern Edinburgh Film School, CGP London, Whitely Arts Festival, University of London, Vetlanda Museum, Glasgow Project Rooms, Gi 2012, Dresden Film Festival, CCA, Generator Projects, Embassy Gallery and is now the curator of a performance and video based event under the theme and title ‘NITEFLIGHTS’ which will appear throughout Glasgow.       

The SaVAge K’Lub – Rosanna Raymond – Sistar S’pacific, Emine, Jo Walsh, Dr Mark James Hamilton: SaVAge SEAnce: An Invitation to Activate Your Ancestry. “Our dead are woven into our souls like the hypnotic music of bone flutes: we can never escape them.” Albert Wendt This SEAnce is a participatory presentation, inviting those gathered to experience a core concept informing the SaVAge K’Lub’s creativity: even the long-dead are nearby. A performance will occur (a word used in its widest and least defined sense). The deeds enacted will aid those present to call upon potentials immanent in their human being, in their genetic material. Ancestry will be addressed as a vital force, a sustaining resource. Albert Refiti (Samoan visual arts scholar), writing of an earlier K’Lub event in Canada, states that Raymond refuses to relegate ancestors to a mythical past, and addresses them as available and present, located within one’s body. Raymond, says Refiti, embraces the tensions of tradition and contemporaneity prominent in—but not limited to—cross-cultural artwork. The K’Lub site their presentation at the intersection of polarised values, seeking relationship between cosmopolitan and village-centric values, engaging with the spectral phantom of sameness and the haunting substance of difference. In the SEAnce, the K’Lub will elaborate on Polynesian protocols of meeting and invocation to invite attendees to establish a position between the Earth Mother and the Sky Father. Through simple communal movement and vocalisation, these elemental ancestors will be evoked. Subsequent deeds will seek out connections to ancestral Mountains, Rivers, Lands, Houses and Forebears. Here the collective may begin to individuate. Multiple perspectives will be entertained. For some gathered, it is possible that a deep sense of ancestry may be contacted. At the same time, it might be that the nostalgia, Romanticism, and exotica are indulged. And what of lineages beyond bloodlines? The cross-currents created by cultural adoption and appropriation will be supported. The K’Lub does not guard against the disruption of categories—authentic and original meets fictive and faux. Mindful of the layered significance of the Ghost Dance proper, the SEAnce will ask not whose the ancestor is, but what this ancestor can do for the emancipation of all. The SaVage K’Lub is a London-based interdisciplinary collective of artists and scholars led by Raymond. The group explores: the relationships between experiences of difference and belonging; complex intercultural affiliations; continuations of native and migratory narratives; things eclipsed by the fray of dominant communities’ interactions. The K’Lub has a special interest in the combination of careful craft in all disciplines (including the continuation of traditional skills) with the vitality of parody, satire and hybridity to delight and motivate, producing art which communicates social commentary and proposes departures toward new philosophies.

Skogsrå  Jennie Fagerstrom

Jennie Fagerstrom brings intimate lanterns to light the loss of way and figures of the non existence to cause erasure of the real. Images referencing the female skogsrå of nordic mythology, seductively luring men to their doom in the lost depth of the forest. Born in Sweden, lives and works in London. Studied Fine Art at Central Saint Martin’s College of Art & Design, London. She uses the body and movement as a means of inspiration and expression to create sequences. Translating her ideas onto the fragile nature of paper, supported by low tech and light. Her work touches on the notion of romanticism and nostalgia. Recent showings and exhibitions- St Leonards Church LCV event March 2013 ” Follow the Lanterns. The Sea and I EP launch with London Contemporary Voices” Stroud SITE Festival 2012 May, group exhibit “Golden is Silence” Studio 23 Netil House London June 2012 Coming soon- Clerkenwell Design Week London May 2013 Performance and installation night Stockholm, Sweden 25 May 2013

Posted in Hostings | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hostings 11-GHost-dance I: ghosts as cultural and political movement

GHost presents a new series of Hostings – ‘GHost-dance’ – exploring the idea of ghosts as cultural and political movement.

Hostings 11 –  GHost-dance I: ghosts as cultural and political movement

17th April 6.30 – 9.30

Central St. Martins College of Arts and Design, LVMH Theatre E0003, Granary Square, London, N1C 4AA

NOTE: This is a FREE event, but please register here to reserve a seat:                          GHost-dance I Registration

David Jacques still from the film ‘The Irlam House Bequest’

David Jacques (Artist) – The Irlam House Bequest (film screening)
Alan Murdie (Barrister) – Ghosts and Spirits in the Court Room
Marcy Saude (Artist) – Spirit Conjuring and Laying Down Hoodoo Tricks to Combat Anti-cultural Austerity in the Netherlands
Chris Moffat (Historian) – Politics and the Ghost’s Demand

GHost-dance I Programme


David Jacques film is inspired by the history of trade union banners and the entrepreneur George Tutil, whose workshop dominated banner production in the 19th century. The work represents items from a fictional subversive banner workshop with a possible paranormal function, discovered in an abandoned flat in Irlam House, a tower block in Bootle.

David Jacques, was the winner of the Liverpool Art Prize 2010.

“Irlam House is a sixteen story tower block in Bootle, Merseyside. Sometime in the late 1980’s the resident Caretaker came into possession of a substantial collection of drawings. The drawings came to our attention when he recently brought one study to the Conservation Department claiming it to be suffering from ‘vibration issues’.

After some deliberation we have identified the works as composite templates and graphics for banner designs, of the type made popular amongst the British Labour Movement. They were retrieved from a flat on the 14th floor that had apparently been vacated without forewarning by its tenants. The Caretaker has written extensively about the works in the context of his PHD studies (titled: The telepathic turn; affective states, autonomous sociality & overcoming the bio-political.).

The occupants, by all accounts unseen throughout their tenure, had also used the accommodation as a makeshift design workshop and had secured funding through the ‘Enterprise Allowance Scheme’. Though for some unknown reason they had abandoned this venture before making any attempt to market their wares. The caretaker, whilst apparently maintaining some form of communication with the group became evasive when asked of their present whereabouts.

Aside from the works, we have an amount of information gleaned from the Caretaker that mostly recounts the group’s composition and methodology relating to their production. He professed to never having met any of them, though he thought that they probably originated from a variety of nationalities. He had a tendency to be dismissive of the works and stressed that the significance of the group’s activities should primarily be gauged by “their capacity for imagining in the midst of political struggle” and that this stemmed from “what we might term contaminating affects – arising out of a social interaction between bodies”.

He felt that the group were creating works that had no representational basis, although they were concerned with “objects emerging as part of the sensual experience of the surrounding environs”. He believed that they were immersed in experimentation, analysing craft and design aesthetics, testing the limits of language. Though on the face of it, their modus operandi was strangely paradoxical. It seems as though they had set up, or had proposed to activate an archetypical ‘Fordist’ assembly line dealing in specific ‘types’ of output.

Though he recognised that his own interests were for the most part tied to the realm of praxis, the caretaker joined in with a passive examination of the collection – “the residue”. During this his mood changed as he surprisingly opened up to speak about the group’s identification with ‘the occult’ and a possible engagement with paranormal phenomena. He believed that the designs were “invoked through some process of automatism” but my conjecture about the energy generated by the group possibly being locked into the works was met with bemusement.

Ultimately, he could only admit to feeling ambivalent about our proposal to exhibit the collection. He finally commented that the works “might resonate, find a frequency …maybe even enter into dialogue with the dead artists also showing therein” but that he “personally thought they’d be better off left out in the street.””

Biography: Exhibitions include: 2012 Kirche St. Theodor, Koln Germany (solo), Shanghart / Openeye Shanghai China & Liverpool (group), 15th Antimatter Film Festival Victoria BC Canada, Aesthetica Short Film Festival, York UK, 2011 Walker Gallery, Liverpool ‘The Irlam House Bequest’ (solo), Bluecoat Gallery, Liverpool ‘Democratic Promenade’ (group), 2010 Liverpool Art Prize (group) UK, Northern Art Prize (group)
 Leeds UK, 2009 Contemporary Art Norwich EAST International 09 (group), Northern Print Biennale, Newcastle (group), 
EASTvideo, screenings at various venues across the UK (group), Trafo Gallery, Budapest, Hungary ‘EASTgoesEAST’ (group), Royal College of Art, London ‘Por Convencion Ferrer’ (solo), 2008 Bluecoat Gallery, Liverpool ‘Next up’ (group), 2005 Triskel Arts Centre, Cork Ireland ‘As if in a dream dreamt by another’ (solo), The Model , Niland Arts Centre, Sligo, Ireland ‘As if in a dream dreamt by another’ (solo), Galerie Gulliver, Cologne, Germany ‘Allotment’, 20


By Alan Murdie, LL.B, Barrister

In the long history of English law there are many references to ghosts, spirits and supernatural powers. Whilst ghosts and spirits have provided a useful source of metaphors for judges and in judicial pronouncements there have also been many cases where the courts have had to rule in cases where a party holds a genuine belief in ghosts, spirits or supernatural forces. Ghosts and spirits have previously featured in civil cases determining legal rights in areas as diverse as contract (Lyon v Home (1860), copyright (Cummins v Bond (1926) rent control (McGhee v Hackney London Borough Council [1969] family law (Sultana v Islam (1997) and in employment (Great Manchester Police v Power [2009]).

In addition, since 1974 there have been a growing number of criminal cases in England and Wales where the courts have had to examine the belief in ghosts and spiritual entities in the context of the law. These have includes the case of R v Young [1996] where members of a jury used a ouija board to try and ascertain the guilt of the accused in a murder trial by attempting to contact the spirit of the victim (Young has gone on to become one of the leading authorities on jury deliberations). In R v Gallivan [2000] the Court of Appeal had to consider an appeal from a mother in Barry, Wales convicted of arson which claimed was an attempt to rid herself of a poltergeist. Most serious of all have been cases of alleged possession where persons have gone on to kill. A case in Barnsley in 1974 when a mentally-ill man killed his wife following an exorcism led to the Church of England re-organising its procedures and ruling that an exorcism can only be conducted with the permission of a Bishop. Since then there have been a number of cases where persons claiming to be possessed have been before the criminal courts, the most notorious being the case of Antoine [2000] where the House of Lords had to review the procedure under the Criminal Procedure (Insanity) Act 1964 and the defence of diminished responsibility in the case of a teenager who murdered a 15 year-old boy on a satanic altar following a message obtained via a ouija board.

This talk will examine the topic of ghosts and spirits in the court today and the implications for the law and wider society. Biography: Alan Murdie is a Barrister.  He is also a long time member and chairman of the Ghost Club. As well as his own extensive archive of material, he also has access to the archives of ghost hunter extraordinaire Andrew Green. He has written several books on ghosts including, Haunted Brighton (2006) and Haunted Bury St Edmunds (2007).


Marcy Saude (perfomative talk)

For this GHosting, I will perform a hoodoo ritual (lay down a trick) that conjures the spirit of a

Do they owe us a living?                                                                                                         Course they do, of course they do                                                                                               Owe us a living?                                                                                                                       Course they do, of course they do
Do they owe us a living?                                                                                                                  Of course they fucking do!

In my work, I am interested in the relationship between conjuring rituals and performance art, framed within a larger context of resisting the intertwined ideologies of capitalism and progress.

For this GHosting, I will report on the performance of a hoodoo spell that conjures the spirit of a deceased person and asks them to aid in the payment of money that is owed. This particular trick is generally performed in the context of a personal debt; however, I am connecting the issue of money owed with the implementation of austerity and the resulting de-funding of the arts that is ongoing in the Netherlands and elsewhere. Inspired by the African-American syncretic folk-magic tradition of hoodoo, re-emerging demands for a global minimum income that is not tied to “work,” artist participation in anti-austerity protests, and of course anarchist band par excellence Crass, I will act as an envoy for all artists living and working in the Netherlands (regardless of nationality) and ask my chosen spirit world emissary to intervene with specific individuals responsible for cultural funding in the current Dutch cabinet.

In addition to documenting the ritual, the talk will include background on the practice of hoodoo, and presentation of prior projects concerning the intersection of folk magic, aesthetics, and radical politics. Additionally, I detailed instructions will be provided allowing members of the audience to replicate the spell and conjure their chosen spirit in response to their own political needs.

Biography: Marcy Saude’s work involves subjects such as marginal histories, the landscape, counterculture, and language, and have screened at venues and festivals including International film Festival Rotterdam (The Netherlands), Torino Film Festival (Italy), EMAF (European Media Art Festival, Germany), Ann Arbor Film Festival (Michigan), Anthology Film Archives (NYC), Other Cinema (San Francisco), and the Echo Park Film Center (LA). She is interested in DIY aesthetics, appropriation, homesteading, the relationship between the natural and built environments and politics, expanded notions of non-fiction and time-based media, and folk magic. She completed an MFA from the Department of Art and Art History at the University of Colorado at Boulder and currently works in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.


Chris Moffat

This paper considers the force of the ghost’s gaze in modern politics. Rather than the willful conjuring of ghosts for politics, by political actors, I want to ask how ghosts themselves conjure forms of politics. Can the dead hold the present accountable? How might these revenant figures incite, pushing time ‘out of joint’? Writing in 1855, Walt Whitman reflected on the ‘corpses of young men’, struck down by the ‘weapons of tyrants’; they live elsewhere, the poet contends, with ‘unslaughter’d vitality’, their spirit stalking invisibly over the earth, ‘whispering, counseling, cautioning.’ I want to explore the implications of this spectral voice: how might horizons of political possibility shift in the presence of ghosts?

Whitman’s words appear, 76 years later, scrawled in the pages of a prison notebook kept by the young Indian revolutionary Bhagat Singh. The 23-year-old was executed by colonial authorities in March 1931, famously embracing death and kissing the hangman’s noose at Lahore Central Jail, shouting Inqilab Zindabad (‘Long Live Revolution’) with his final breath. Perhaps, following Whitman, he anticipated the vivid afterlife awaiting him. Recalled today as shaheed-e-azam (‘the great martyr’), Bhagat Singh persists as a revered and enormously popular figure in twenty-first century India and Pakistan, repeatedly invoked in politics. This paper considers the implications of Bhagat Singh’s enduring appeal, its interaction with narratives of violence and self-sacrifice, but also directs attention to the erratic, eruptive potentiality carried by his promiscuous ghost: his incitement of the present, his refusal to be contained. Reflecting on contemporary formations of dissent in North India and Lahore, Pakistan – from youth organisations to militant associations to street theatre groups – I will consider how activists respond to Bhagat Singh’s spectre, the demand implicit in his presence, and the dissensual resonance of Inqilab Zindabad in twenty-first century politics.

Biography:  Chris Moffat is working towards a PhD in History at the University of Cambridge and is interested in both the anthropology and philosophy of the discipline. His thesis considers the relationship between history and the construction of political futures, focusing specifically on ideas of dissent in contemporary India and Pakistan.

Posted in Hostings | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Call for submissions to ‘GHost-dance’

GHost-dance: ghosts as cultural and political movement

‘GHost’ is seeking proposals for thirty minute (max duration) performances, performative presentations and contemporary dance for two interdisciplinary conferences – Hostings 11 & Hostings 12

at CSM, University of the Arts, Granary Building, 1 Granary Square, London, N1C 4AA
Dates: ‘Hostings 11’ 17th April, 6pm – 9pm – LVMH Lecture Theatre
‘Hostings 12’ 21st May, 6pm – 9pm – Studio Theatre (dance and performance space)

Deadline for submissions – 20th March

Please send a (working) title and an abstract of approximately 300 words, a brief biography and, if applicable, a couple of photographs or links to film clips documenting performance or dance.
send to GHost at:

Submissions may address, but not be restricted to, one or more of the following:
Ghosts as a political or cultural voice within marginalised or disenfranchised communities.
The embodying of ghosts within ritual and performance to instigate socio-cultural or political change.
Ghosts as a healing and unifying presence within marginalised cultural groups or genders.
The appropriation of the ghost-dance, and other forms of spirit–possession, within contemporary art.
The ghost narrative as a political device within rhetoric, writing, film, visual art or popular culture

“Standing on the hill where so many people were buried in a common grave, standing there in that cold darkness under the stars, I felt tears running down my face. I can’t describe what I felt. I heard the voices of the long-dead ghost dancers crying out to us.”
(Leonard Crow Dog, during the American Indian Movement’s occupation of Wounded Knee, 1973).

In the last decades of the nineteenth century, self proclaimed prophet Wovoka, of the Paiute people, became the figure-head for the Ghost Dance – a religious movement adopted by a significant number of the Native American Nations. Central to this belief was a communal ritualised dance, inducing a trance state, in which it was believed the souls of the dead and living would be reunited and their land returned to them. In the 1970s the Ghost Dance was revived as part of the Red Power Movement, with the activists group AIM (American Indian Movement) at its forefront, fighting for Native American civil rights. The ghost in the Ghost Dance was a revitalising force for a people whose land and loved ones had been taken from them and who were facing cultural genocide.
The Spiritualist movement in nineteenth century U.S.A provided a forum in which women, whose role in society was very much suppressed, could give voice to their opinions in a public arena. Appeals for women’s emancipation and the abolition of slavery could be expressed under the guise a ghost voice, allegedly channelled through the medium.
At the same time in Europe, in the opening sentences of Marx and Engle’s Communist Manifesto, “A Spectre is haunting Europe – the spectre of Communism.” Communism could be said to have been conceptualised as a powerful ghostly presence, waiting to materialise and take shape within the living as a force for revolutionary change.

As a visual arts and creative research project GHost takes on and explores the conceit of guests, hosts and ghosts, both metaphorically and practically, in its activities. Functioning in its capacity as a supporting platform (or host) GHost aims to enable invited guests to visually and conceptually manifest and interrogate the idea of the ghost.

To date the project has had two central strands: a consideration of the relevance of ghosts in contemporary culture, centred around a programme of interdisciplinary seminars – so-called Hostings –previously held in Senate House at the University of London; and a series of exhibitions, screenings and performances designed to make manifest and, by extension, examine the aesthetics of ghosts and haunted spaces.

The Hostings are supported by the Centre for Performance at CSM, University of the Arts.

Posted in Exhibitions, Hostings | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment