Venice Symposium 2019

AoN Symposium 

on the occasion of the 58th Venice Art Biennale of Art



Serra dei Giardini, Venice

May 9th & 10th, 2019




On the poesis of collective mental healing


He spoke „I and I“ for we, a sense that said
The collective was on flesh in different skins
And we were only branches of the Mighty Dread
Separated by customs, flawed beliefs and sins.
He said „I overstand“ for the understanding we
Claim through muddled mire of mangy history.
L’nass Shango[1]


This years AoN (AoN_Association_of_Neuroesthetics) Venice Symposium will coincide with the first chapter of the year-long project Ultrasanity. On Madness, Sanitation, Antipsychiatry and Resistance on which the AoN collaborates with SAVVY Contemporary and that is funded by the TURN Fund of the German Federal Cultural Foundation (Kulturstiftung des Bundes).

The event will bring together cognitive scientists, clinicians, social scientists, artists and neuroscientists to challenge hegemonic knowledges and healing practices in biomedical psychiatry and psychoanalysis, and to cogitate together about alternative approaches and countertechniques. Hegemonic therapeutics are based in a primarily Western ethnocentrism that disregards the healing possibilities of collective, mythic and historical narratives. With this programme we will endeavour to engage with discourse and praxis, disputing ideas of normality, expanding nosologies and questioning dimensions of a therapeutics grounded in scientific objectivity and ethics ignoring phenomenological and social dimensions, power agendas and collective meaning. The event will particularly raise issues that question a grammar of violence inscribed in currently practised universal therapeutic models and primacy of psychopharmacology which often delete the significance of spiritual, systemic, intra-generational histories and community in formulating healing strategies. In addition, it will interrogate the recent international experiments that are proposing the relevance of relational and psychosocial dimensions such as community based collaborative care, and reparation through experiments with arts based community engagement and collective processes of cultural therapy.

Conceived as a mixed format of lectures, interventions, discussions, screenings and performances, the event will see the participation of sociologist Monica Greco, psychiatrist and artist Jaswant Guzder, actor and psychiatrist Vitor Pordeus, theatre director and activist Seydou Ndiaye, artists Pélagie Gbaguidi, Kader Attia, Sonya Lindfors and Diego Bruno, among others.



Jaswant Guzder, Victor Pordeus, Monica Greco, Sonya Lindfors, Seydou Ndiaye, Vittorio Gallese (TBC)



Diego Bruno, Pélagie Gbaguid



Elena Agudio (AoN), Ana Gomez-Carrillo (AoN)



AoN (AoN_Association_of_Neuroesthetics)