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ARIA RESEARCH SEMINAR: On art and violence

On art and violence

ARIA Research seminar
21 September 2021
initiated by Athar Jaber and Ria De Boodt

'Stone sculpture is oft the material of choice because of its durability ../.. However, it has also been implemented as a faithful assistant for the enforcement of systemic violence'. This is an extract from the PhD text part by Athar Jaber. He invites guests who inspired him for this PhD 'on sculpture and violence' or who were actively involved in it, to a symposium organised in collaboration with the Antwerp Research Institute for the Arts (ARIA) and the research group Body and Material Reinvented at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts.

The seminar will focus on the topic of Violence in a broader sense and on its representation in Art in particular. It will consist of lectures, artist’s talks and public interviews with artists and academics. International specialists, academics and artists will be each asked to give a presentation of their work. Moderated discussions with the audience will be also organised. The event will be closed by the dance performance 'Stranger' sharing different perspectives on one male’s physicality through live body performance. It is located in the fluid zone between which man he is, and as which man he is perceived by someone else. The performance zooms in and out with the only filter being our largest organ, the skin. The skin is a canvas to watch, that breathes, makes contact, and is the closest connection between ourselves and the other. ​

Athar Jaber is an Iraqi-Italian sculptor, professor at the academy’s sculpture department and researcher in the arts since 2015. He recently finished his PhD 'Per forza di levare. On sculpture and violence' within Body and Material Reinvented (2017-2021). 

Contributions by

  • Prof. dr. Brad Evans (University of Bath, UK) is a political philosopher, critical theorist and writer whose work specialises on the problem of violence.
  • Kopano Maroga (South-Africa) is a performance artist, writer and cultural worker.
  • Arkadi Zaides (Belarus-Israël/Palestina) is an independent choreographer.​
  • ​Inge Henneman (Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp) is a writer, researcher and lecturer with focus on photography and contemporary art, and curator of "Shooting Range. Photography and the Great War" among others.
  • Karel Tuytschaever (Royal Conservatoire Antwerp) is a drama professor, researcher and performer.
  • Laurent Delom de Mézerac (Royal Conservatoire Antwerp) is a dancer now based in Paris.


  • 14:00 Welcome by Prof. dr. Bart Eeckhout, Antwerp Research Institute of the Arts, University of Antwerp
  • 14:05 Introduction by Prof. dr. Gert Verschraegen UAntwerp supervisor and/or dr. Ria De Boodt, AP supervisor of PhD Athar Jaber
  • 14:15 'Per forza di levare. On sculpture and violence', a PhD film by Athar Jaber
  • 14:45 Brad Evans interviewing Athar Jaber + Q&A guided by ​Inge Henneman
  • 16:15 Afternoon tea break
  • 16:30 Online intervention by Kopano Maroga + Q&A guided by ​Inge Henneman
  • 17:30 Online intervention by Arkadi Zaides + Q&A guided by ​Inge Henneman 
  • 18:30 Supper break for invited guests
  • 20:00 'Stranger' live performance by BARRY and Laurent Delom
  • 22:00 End

Link to the website of ARIA - UAntwerp

The seminar is part of the Open Laboratory Weeks organised by the research group Body and Material Reinvented at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp from Tuesday 21 September to Friday 8 October 2021 included except for the weekends.