Since 2006 a number of actions have taken place under the title Dead Artists Society. This is an unconventional communicative method to analyze artistic works and do research into the biographies of artists. In public spiritual séances, famous artists are conjured up and asked about the meaning of their life and art.

At the Werkleitzbiennale in the city of Halle (2006) visitors were invited to address questions to the spirit of Marcel Duchamp. With the aid of a saucer moving around a surface with letters organized in a circular pattern, Marcel Duchamp answered the questions addressed to him; among other things, the great artist explained that he is still doing art in the beyond.

During the Moscow Biennale Dead Artists Society  talked with the Russian painter Ilya Repin in a séance at the Tretyakov Gallery. In a séance with Kazimir Malevitch, we learned of the ultimate end of art. Unknown Masterpieces at the Berlin gallery General Public highlighted abstract original sketches by Leonardo and Pollock drawn through the aid of various participants during a séance.

The séances have been recorded in a video entitled Dialogues with Classics. These performances culminated in the publication of Dead Artists Society.


In Gallery 18m during the exhibition The Phantom of Art a panel discussion was held on the theme of intellectual property rights and legal issues.
The following questions were asked:
• Who owns the copyright of artwork created during the séances; will the collector be buying a work by Pollock or by Kissina?
• Is it permissible to sign a picture with «Jackson Pollock, 2007″‹?
• Can Pollock’s heirs make claims against the artist?
• Must the artist/gallery owner fear legal consequences?

geisterbuch ру

It seems far more mysterious to me to imagine that there will be nothing after death... (Marcel Duchamp)
Installation of Dead Artists Society KAI 10 | Arthena Foundation; 2010
WRITING POEMS WITH HUGO BALL October 22, 2007 Exhibition »Fuga saeculi«, Cabaret Voltaire, Zurich
The séance with Hugo Ball, one of the fathers of Swiss Dadaism, took place in Zurich in the cellar of the famous Cabaret Voltaire.
Еveryone was dressed in cardboard conical caps similar to those worn by Ball during the readings of his poems.
AUDIENCE: Spirit of Hugo Ball, come to us. Spirit, are you there? HUGO BALL: Yes.
CONFERENCE WITH MARCEL DUCHAMP: September 8, 2006 Werkleitz Biennale, Halle
During the Werkleitz Biennial, which was dedicated to religious systems, a group of artists was invited to confer with Duchamp.
AUDIENCE: Does life have any meaning? DUCHAMP: Hardly.
AUDIENCE: Does God exist? DUCHAMP: There is no God!
The séances were recorded and assembled under the title »Dialogues with the Classics«.
The meetings occurred in galleries, in museums and other art institutions.
Among others artists, critics and gallerists were invited.
LEONARDO vs. POLLOCK: March 27, 2007; General Public, Berlin
All night long performance at General Public Gallery, Berlin.
We were on our way to making »big art«.
With the aid of the special spiritualist technique of automatic drawing, Leonardo da Vinci demonstrated great proficiency in Abstract Painting.
Leonardo da Vinci, Unknown Masterpiece, Berlin, 2007
Jackson Pollock, creator of “action painting”, used the technique of “automatism”, similar to “écriture automatique” which the Surrealists practiced during their own séances.
At one point our hands began to move with the saucer tracing the sideways figure eight symbolizing infinity.
The figure eight persisted until our hands grew tired, and only stopped after we asked Pollock to stop it.
As soon as the drawing was completed, we put it on the wall.
Jackson Pollock, Unknown Masterpiece, Berlin, 2007
Dead Artists Society; book presentation in Vice Versa Art-books.
Dead Artists Society; book presentation in Vice Versa Art-books.
The Invisible Teacher: FLUXUS-CONFERENCE January 12, 2007; 18m Gallery, Berlin
The spirits of “Invisible teachers” John Cage, George Maciunas and Nam Jun Paik were summoned.
Communication with the artists was interrupted by an involuntary intervention of the »otherworldly hairdresser«.
The drawing machine for the Dead Artists Society
Leonardo da Vinci, Unknown Masterpiece, Berlin, 2007
Leonardo da Vinci, Unknown Masterpiece, Berlin, 2007
Leonardo da Vinci, Unknown Masterpiece, Berlin, 2007
WORKSHOP WITH EGON SCHIELE: November 18, 2008; k48 Project, Vienna
A model from the Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna was invited to participate in the séance.
Unfortunately the recordings of this Séance showing the nude model were censored.
Egon Schiele, Unknown Masterpiece, Vienna, 2008
INTERVIEW WITH KAZIMIR MALEVICH: March 6, 2007 Exhibition »Artist diary«, Museum ZDH, Moscow
The first group of invited artists sabotaged the session. I had to interrupt the performance and invite a different group, with which one very successful »conversation«did take place.
DRAWING WITH PAULA MODERSOHN-BECKER: June 4, 2007; Art Residence Worpswede, Germany
Paula Modersohn-Becker, Unknown Masterpiece, Worpswede, 2006
Performance by Dead Artists Society
CONVERSATION WITH REPIN: February 18, 2007 Redaction of magazine »Aficha« in Moscow.
In winter 2007, Moscow’s Tretyakov Gallery was preparing an exhibition titled »A Thinking Realism«.
Because Russian classical art is rooted in realism (a concept which has nothing to do with reality, but serves as the most representative of Russian art), we decided to invite great Russian artist, Ilya Efimovich Repin, to the next meeting with the art community. Also attending the séance was an NASA astronaut...
AUDIENCE: Do you feel yourself to be a concept artist? ILYA REPIN: Of course!
AUDIENCE: Do you still work on art in the other world? REPIN: Of course!
Installation of Dead Artists Society KAI 10 | Arthena Foundation; 2010
Installation of Dead Artists Society KAI 10 | Arthena Foundation; 2010