Mobile Academy in Warsaw: “Ghosts, Spectres, Phantoms, and the Places Where They Live”
[ Black Market ]Black Market for Useful Knowledge and Non-Knowledge I and II:
"On Invisible, Unknown and Ghostly Knowledge"
The Black Market takes place in the run-up to the Mobile Academy in October 2005 and also during the Mobile Academy in August and September 2006.
Topic of the Black Market in Warsaw is invisible and ghostly knowledge. For an evening, a hundred experts or storytellers will initiate a ghost library operated in real time, a living encyclopædia of the ghostly.
The Black Market for Useful Knowledge and Non-Knowledge I is an installation by Hannah Hurtzig where the audience may call on one or more of the hundred experts for a half-hour consultation. The experts come from science, art, medicine, theatre, philosophy, and many other fields. Each one brings along his or her own individual ghostly knowledge.
The installation deals with the representation and communication of knowledge and information. It was successfully shown with varying topics in theatres and museums before. It imitates well-known places of knowledge transfer, such as the archive and the reading room, and combines them with situations of communication that are familiar from the marketplace and the stock exchange, from counselling interviews and service talks.
Ghosts are creatures or ideas, not living, not dead, not yet born or unable to die, neither present nor absent – they have the ability to put reality in limbo, to deprive it of its matter and provability, at least for the moment of their appearance.
All these invisible ones – spirits, the undead, phantoms, revenants, vampires, and ghosts – can only be understood in the social contexts that produced them, mostly by exclusion, suppression, or ostracism. Thus “the phantom of market economy has replaced the spectre of communism” (Heiner Müller). The most modern form of the ghostly today would be the refugee, the illegal migrant, who is indeed present, but who is deprived of his civil rights, drops out of public perception and falls through the social net.
Invisible knowledge refers to economic, political, or social structures that cannot be discerned because we are blinded; it means ideas and things that are ineffable, be it because of censorship or banning, or because they are still linguistically elusive. It is also repressed, forgotten contents of the past, or fantastic yet possible visions of the future.
The project is co-financed by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute from funds provided by the Polish Ministry of Culture in the context of the German-Polish Year 2005/2006.
The list of experts selling their useful knowledge and non-knowledge can be seen here
photography © Basia Welbel