open mon—fri
from 9—6
Graphic Design: Ann Bessemans, READSEARCH

Agents of Concern - Images and Empathy


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?

With works by Miglė Bareikytė & Natasha Klimenko, Ana Bilbao & Emilie Flower, Harun Farocki, Chloé Galibert-Laîné, Jill Godmilow, Ira Goryainova, Florian Göttke, Jelena Jureša, Tõnis Jürgens, Rabih Mroué, Goda Palekaitė, Dámaso Randulfe, Reel Borders, Frank Theys and Joeri Verbesselt.

The conference and two-part exhibition Agents of Concern 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.

Creating a dialogue between artistic and academic ways of speaking with, about, and to images, the project both employs and questions a wide range of visual strategies for evoking empathy. Contributors engage with notions of projection, imitation, make-believe and animation, while discussing diverse topics including the representation of migration, performative stagings of political protest, understandings of sentimentality in art, the use of neuroimaging technologies in research on trauma, and the creation of visual evidence to shed light on human rights violations.

For the full program, please consult our website:

Please register here to attend the conference (16-18 Nov) or the doctoral symposium (15 Dec).


Exhibition – Part 1: Thursday November 16 — Friday December 15, 2023 at PXL-MAD Gallery, Elfde-Liniestraat 25, 3500 Hasselt, Belgium

Join us on Thursday November 16, 2023 from 14:00 for the exhibition opening, followed by the start of the conference at 18:00.

The exhibition will showcase 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 Goryainova, and Dámaso Randulfe.

Conference: Thursday November 16 — Saturday 18, 2023 at PXL-MAD Gallery

The conference commences on Thursday November 16 at 18:00, with an evening program featuring presentations by Florian Göttke and Miglė Bareikytė & Natasha Klimenko.

This will be followed by two full conference days on November 17 and 18 from 9:00—17:00, with a keynote lecture given by Christina Varvia of Forensic Architecture on Friday November 17 at 18:00.

Conference speakers include Paul Bernard-Nouraud, Filip Berte & Cliona Harmey, Birgit Eusterschulte, Ira Goryainova, Claire Jones, Kasper Lægring, Antigoni Memou, Bart Moens & Karel Vanhaesebrouck, Paula Muhr, Dámaso Randulfe, Amirkhan Saifullin, James Swensen, Stella Viljoen, and Andrew Warstat.

More details on the conference program will follow at the start of September 2023 when registration opens.

Concluding symposium: Friday December 15, 2023 at PXL-MAD Gallery

The exhibition at PXL-MAD Gallery will conclude with a program of lectures and presentations. This program will be announced at the start of September.

Exhibition – Part 2: Sunday November 26, 2023 — Sunday January 28, 2024 at Cultuurcentrum Hasselt (CCHA), Kunstlaan 5, 3500 Hasselt, Belgium

Join us on Sunday November 26, 2023 from 15:00 for the exhibition opening.

This exhibition, initiated by the FRAME research unit Image Thinking, expands the scope of the project with a focus on photography and the still image. It examines how stillness can invite an empathic gaze, and how empathy can come about through the encounter with a work of art. Featuring artworks by Dirk Braeckman, Geert Goiris, Tine Guns, Chantal van Rijt, Aline Verstraten and others.

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Organised by the research group FRAME at PXL-MAD, School of Arts, Hasselt, and KRIEG?, in collaboration with Hasselt University, Doctoral Schools, CCHA, and VDB.

This project is possible thanks to the support of the Flemish Community.