Digital lecture "Mental Traveler: W.J.T. Mitchell speaks to Omar Kholeif about Madness, Cinema and the Panopticon"

W.J.T. Mitchell & Omar Kholeif

5:00  - 6:30 p.m. CET

Online lecture

In "Mental Traveler", the world's leading iconologist has let his hair down. Bursting with tenderness unknown to the testosterone fueled walls of the university that gave birth to the likes of 'the Chicago Boys', his new memoir enters Mitchell into a new dimension. For this event he will be in conversation with author and curator, Omar Kholeif who will be playing their best Oprah Winfrey. As intimate revelations unfold across the hour, the duo will explore madness and mourning, as well as the unequivocal marriage between contemporary image culture and the human subconscious.

W.J.T. Mitchell: Mental Traveler. A father, a son, and a journey through schizophrenia
Gabriel Mitchell was diagnosed with schizophrenia at age twenty-one and died by suicide eighteen years later. He left behind a remarkable archive of creative work and a father determined to honor his son’s attempts to conquer his own illness. Before his death, Gabe had been working on a film that would show madness from inside and out, as media stereotype and spectacle, symptom and stigma, malady and minority status, disability and gateway to insight. He was convinced that madness is an extreme form of subjective experience that we all endure at some point in our lives, whether in moments of ecstasy or melancholy, or in the enduring trauma of a broken heart. Gabe’s declared ambition was to transform schizophrenia from a death sentence to a learning experience, and madness from a curse to a critical perspective. Shot through with love and pain, Mental Traveler shows how Gabe drew his father into his quest for enlightenment within madness...

The Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium invited W.J.T. Mitchell for a ‘thinkers-in-residence’ programme on image science.
We invite you to join us for his final digital event: Mitchell in dialogue with Omar Kholeif, at the occasion of his recently published memoir.

Registration is required to receive the livestream link.

5:00 Introduction
(Bart Verschaffel,
President KVAB Class of the Arts)
5:05 Mental Traveler: Madness, Cinema and the Panopticon
(W.J.T. Mitchell, Thinker-in-residence, University of Chicago
Omar Kholeif, Director of Collections and Senior Curator, Sharjah Art Foundation)
6:10 Debate
(Moderator: Hilde Van Gelder,
Coordinator of the Thinkers' Programme)
6:30 End

You can find the link to the invitation here.

Curation by Bart Verschaffel and Hilde Van Gelder

Lieven Gevaert Centre
KU Leuven, Faculty of Arts
Blijde Inkomststraat 21 pb 3313
B-3000 Leuven

Lieven Gevaert Centre
UC Louvain, Archéologie et d'histoire d'art
FIAL - Place Blaise Pascal 1 bte L3.03.13
B-1348 Louvain-la-Neuve