Lecture: Erik & Harald Thys - Our Friend The Automobile


Departing with a picture of their father’s car, brothers Erik and Harald Thys present a psychoanalysis of the automobile. The lecture traces a history of car production in western and eastern Europe, Asia and the United States and examines the identity and effects of cars as autonomous species that exert significant influence on the objects and people around them.

Harald Thys (*1965, BE) is an artist whose collaborative work with Jos de Gruyter takes an unvarnished look at the surreality of the postmodern psyche and its parallel worlds. Their works have been shown at institutions including Kunsthal Aarhus, DK (2018); Kunstverein München (2017); Schinkel Pavillon, Berlin (2016); Yale Union, Portland (2015); CCA Wattis, San Francisco (2015); MoMA PS1, New York (2015); The Power Station, Dallas (2015) and Kestnergesellschaft, Hannover (2011). Their installation Mondo Cane represents Belgium at the 58th Venice Biennale (2019).

Erik Thys (*1961, BE) is an author, composer, artist and psychiatrist affiliated with the Sint Alexius Psychosocial Centre in Brussels and the University Psychiatric Centre at the KU Leuven. Erik is the author of Psychogenocide. Psychiatry, Art and Mass Murder Under the Nazi‘s (2015) and co-author of The Secret of the Brain Chip: Guide for People with Psychosis (2003), which has been translated into 14 languages. He is also the chairman of KAOS, an institute that develops artistic projects with a link to psychiatry. Erik regularly collaborates with Jos de Gruyter & Harald Thys, composing music for and acting in several of their films. His compositions for organ have been performed in churches in San Francisco, Berlin, Vienna and Basel. His most recent work, Organ Piece (2019) – which adopts the form of an international anthem – was commissioned for Mondo Cane, the Belgian Pavilion at the 58th Venice Biennale, 2019.

Organised by Kathrin Bentele and Matthew Hanson.

From March to May 2019, Kathrin Bentele and Matthew Hanson organize a series of events invloving screenings, readings, and talks. Check back soon for more info - please join us!

Generously supported by: