Held in English and Czech

The fourth Fotograf panel discussion will focus on photography’s ability to reveal what remains hidden and to capture a sense of the unreal – where photography, whose surface seems to refract everyday reality, opens up into other, more illusory worlds. As Walter Benjamin wrote, “It is through the camera that we first discover the optical unconscious, just as we discover the instinctual unconscious through psychoanalysis.” André Bazin in turn defined photography as a “sensory hallucination.”

What myths have become attached to photography throughout its history? How does photography relate to the occult? Can photography be used as proof of the existence of paranormal phenomena? How does one differentiate between images captured by photography, reflected in the retina of the human eye, and reality? Can photography offer a glimpse into the human soul? Or is photography simply a virtual copy of a non-existent original? These are a few of the questions that the forum will address in its 2014 edition, continuing the discussion of previous years regarding the possibilities of photography.



2.00—4.00 pm
Katarzyna Majak, Photography and Now
Margaret Iversen, Thomas Demand and the Space of Memory
Václav Hájek, Disruptions and Accidents in Photography. From the Invisible Towards the Visible and Vice Versa

4.00–4.30 pm
Coffee Break

4.30—6.00 pm
Karen Irvine, Ghosts and Guile: Visualizing the Invisible in Contemporary Photography
Patrizia Munforte, The Unreliable Picture: The Deceased as a Sitter in Early Photography


  • Václav Hájek / Visual Studies Theorist / Charles University in Prague / CZ
  • Karen Irvine / Curator and Associate Director / Museum of Contemporary Photography at Columbia College Chicago / USA
  • Margaret Iversen / Professor of Art History / University of Essex / UK
  • Katarzyna Majak / Photography Curator, Lecturer and Writer / PL
  • Patrizia Munforte / Art Historian / Universität Zürich / CH