Call for Papers: “Disassembled Images”: Contemporary Art After Allan Sekula (Antwerp, 2-4 March 2017)


This conference takes the US artist, theoretician, critic, teacher and poet Allan Sekula’s Ship of Fools / The Dockers’ Museum (2010-2013) as its point of departure. At the very end of his life Sekula produced this unfinished, multifaceted and variably installable work of art, which contains ca. 1250 objects. By taking as subject dock workers and seafarers, Sekula wished to pay tribute to all the joined, past efforts of human labor now irretrievably lost in history—a struggle he identifies as “Sisyphean.” In doing so, Sekula provides a message of hope: his last work contributes to imagining possible forms of solidarity in a globalized economy confronted ever-more with its own limitations.


  • Collecting Folly
  • Maritime Failures and Imaginaries
  • Critical Realism in Dialogue

Keynote speakers:

  • Benjamin H.D. Buchloh (Harvard University)
  • W.J.T. Mitchell (University of Chicago)

Artist lecture:

  • Marco Poloni (artist, Berlin)

The call has now ended as of September 12th 2016. The scientific committee of the conference will notify speakers of their decision by October 3, 2016.

“Disassembled Images” is an international scientific conference organized by the Lieven Gevaert Research Centre for Photography, Art and Visual Culture (KU Leuven - Université catholique de Louvain) and M HKA ‒ Museum of Contemporary Art Antwerp.

Art Against the Grain or “Collective Sisyphus:” The Case of Allan Sekula’s Ship of Fools / The Dockers’ Museum (2010−2013) is a major and long-term research project jointly pursued by M HKA and the Lieven Gevaert Research Centre for Photography, Art, and Visual Culture (2014-2019). It has received  generous funding by the Research Council of the University of Leuven and by the Research Foundation-Flanders.

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