Agents of Concern: Images and Empathy

November 16, 2023 — January 28, 2024

How are images used to raise concerns? Why do certain images concern us more than others? And when does the image itself become a cause for concern?

The conference and exhibition project Agents of Concern: Images and Empathy brings together an international group of artists and scholars to examine the complex ways in which images affect our emotional and cognitive understanding of the experiences and mental states of others.

Comprising two exhibitions—one at PXL-MAD Gallery and the other at CCHA—and two conferences, Agents of Concern creates a dialogue between artistic and academic ways of speaking about, with, and to images. Exploring a wide spectrum of visual strategies for evoking empathy, the conference and exhibition contributors address diverse topics including the representation of migration, images of war and political protest, sentimentality in art, contagious images on social media, colonialism, human rights, and the creation of visual evidence. 



Exhibition I

Exhibition I at PXL-MAD Gallery features video works by Harun Farocki, Chloé Galibert-Laîné, Jill Godmilow, Florian Göttke, Jelena Jureša, Tõnis Jürgens, Rabih Mroué, Goda Palekaitė, Frank Theys, and Joeri Verbesselt, alongside video works created especially for this project by Miglė Bareikytė & Natasha Klimenko, Ana Bilbao & Emilie Flower, Reel Borders, Ira A. Goryainova, Nina Valerie Kolowratnik and Dámaso Randulfe. Join us for the opening on Thursday November 16, 14:00.

November 16 — December 15, 2023
Venue: PXL-MAD Gallery, Elfde-Liniestraat 25, 3500 Hasselt, Belgium
Visiting hours: Monday — Friday, 13:00 — 18:00

Exhibition opening: Thursday November 16, 14:00—18:00

Register here for the Exhibition Opening



The conference starts on Thursday November 16 at 18:00 with an evening programme featuring a lecture by Florian Göttke on the burning of images and a presentation by Miglė Bareikytė and Natasha Klimenko on images of Russia’s war against Ukraine. The conference programme continues on Friday and Saturday November 17 and 18 with lectures by Paul Bernard-Nouraud, Filip Berte & Cliona Harmey, Birgit Eusterschulte, Ira Goryainova, Claire Jones, Kasper Lægring, Antigoni Memou, Bart Moens & Karel Vanhaesebrouck, Paula Muhr, Nina Valerie Kolowratnik, Dámaso Randulfe, Amir Saifullin, James Swensen, Stella Viljoen, and Andrew Warstat. The keynote lecture will be given by Christina Varvia of Forensic Architecture on Friday November 17 at 18:00.

November 16 — 18, 2023
Venue: PXL-MAD Gallery, Elfde-Liniestraat 25, 3500 Hasselt, Belgium

Register here to attend the conference


Exhibition II

Exhibition II will open on Sunday November 26 at CCHA. Focused on photography and other lens-based art it will feature contributions by berte & harmey, Dirk Braeckman, Jeroen Bocken, Tom Callemin, Annelies de Mey, Bieke Depoorter, Geert Goiris, Tine Guns (tbc), Robin Hombrouck, Clarisse M, Vincent Meessen (tbc), Max Pinckers, Lisa Schelkens, Dominique Somers, Lore Stessel, Guus Vandeweerd, Stephan Vanfleteren, Sine Van Menxel, Sybren Vanoverberghe, Chantal Van Rijt, Bram Van Stappen, Joselito Verschaeve, Aline Verstraten and Kristof Vrancken.

November 26, 2023 — January 28, 2024
Venue: Cultuurcentrum Hasselt (CCHA), Kunstlaan 5, 3500 Hasselt, Belgium
Visiting hours: Tuesday — Sunday, 13:00 to 17:00, and during evening performances

Exhibition Opening: Sunday November 26, 15:00 

Register here for the Exhibition Opening


Doctoral Symposium

The doctoral symposium on Friday December 15 brings together a group of PhD researchers from Belgium who will respond to Agents of Concern’s questions with reflections and observations from their ongoing research projects. Featuring contributions by Giovanna Caimmi, Charlotte Dorn, Joery Erna, Maria Gil Ulldemolins, Mona Hedayati, Toon Leën, Clarisse Michaux, Eline Valkeneers, Vincent Van Meenen, and Charlotte Vanhoubroeck.

December 15, 2023, 9:00 — 17:00
Venue: PXL-MAD Gallery, Elfde-Liniestraat 25, 3500 Hasselt, Belgium 

Register here to attend the doctoral symposium


Agents of Concern is organised by the research group FRAME at PXL-MAD School of Arts & Hasselt University, in collaboration with KRIEG? and CCHA. It is made possible with support from the Flemish Government, Doctoral Schools, M HKA, and VDB.

Graphic Design brochure by Niel Backx, master student PXL-MAD

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