Master of Reality: Talks on Nelson’s Exhibition

Fri 24 Mar 2023, 3pm
Level 5 Function Room, Green Side, Royal Festival Hall
Talks & debates
From £10
past event
past event
Installation view of Mike Nelson, The Deliverance and The Patience, interior, 2001. Various materials. Various materials. Photo: Liam Harrison. Courtesy the artist and the Hayward Gallery.

In an afternoon of talks, speakers from architecture, literature, neuroscience and psychoanalysis unpack themes raised in Mike Nelson: Extinction Beckons.

Panel 1 is chaired by artist Babak Ghazi, joined by neuroscientist Dr Fatima Maria Felisberti and psychoanalytic psychotherapist Douglas Gill.

Panel 2 is chaired by curator Claire Louise Stanton, with writer Roger Luckhurst and architect Andrew Clancy.

Following the panels, all of the speakers come together for a discussion chaired by artist, theorist and educator Bill Balaskas.

Dr Fatima Maria Felisberti is a neuroscientist working as an associate professor at Kingston University London. Her research focuses on visual perception at the confluence of mental imagery, emotions, and empirical aesthetics. She has PhDs in Biological Cybernetics (MPI, Germany) and Neuroscience (USP, Brazil).

Douglas Gill is a visual artist, performance artist and art therapist who trained in psychoanalytic psychotherapy with The Philadelphia Association (RD Laing). He is co-founder of therapeutic arts charity Studio Upstairs, member of The SITE for Contemporary Psychoanalysis and The Association for Group and Individual Psychotherapy.

Babak Ghazi is an artist.

Roger Luckhurst is a writer and academic. He has written the Corridors: Passages of Modernity, Gothic: An Illustrated History and the BFI Classics book on The Shining, all of which display a mild obsession with labyrinths. He teaches at Birkbeck College, University of London.

Andrew Clancy is an architect. He is Professor of Architecture at the Kingston School of Art, director of Dublin-based Clancy Moore architects, and board member of the Irish Arts Council. His primary interest is in architecture's role as a gathering of multiple contingencies, and the potential for meaning to be found in their weaving.

Claire Louise Staunton is a curator, researcher and organiser. She holds a PhD from the Royal College of Art and her expanded research practice addresses the intersection between art, politics and housing development. Staunton is currently co-editing a book on Artist Placement Group, curating a project on housing associations for Three Rivers/Peabody in Bexley and lecturing at Goldsmiths College.

Bill Balaskas is an artist, theorist and educator. He is Director of Research, Business and Innovation at the School of Arts of Kingston University, London, and the Founding Director of the Centre for Practice Research in the Arts.

The day is organised in collaboration with the Centre for Practice Research in the Arts of Kingston University, London.

Mike Nelson (b. 1967, lives and works in London) creates psychologically charged and atmospheric installations that take viewers on enthralling journeys into fictional worlds that eerily echo our own.

Nelson represented Great Britain at the 54th Venice Biennale in 2011 and has shown in leading galleries around the world.

He has also been featured in numerous international exhibitions, including the 13th Biennale of Sydney, the eighth Istanbul Biennial and the 13th Lyon Biennale.

Need to know

3pm – 3.45pm: Panel 1 – Dr Fatima Maria Felisberti (neuroscientist) and Douglas Gill (psychoanalytic psychotherapist), chaired by Babak Ghazi (artist)
3.45pm – 4pm: Break
4pm – 4.45pm: Panel 2 – Roger Luckhurst (writer) and Andrew Clancy (architect), chaired by Claire Louise Stanton (curator)
4.45pm – 5pm: Break
5pm – 5.30pm: Discussion with all speakers, chaired by Bill Balaskas (artist, theorist and educator)
5.30pm – 6.30pm: Drinks reception

Dates & times

Fri 24 Mar 2023, 3pm

Approximate run time: 3 hours 30 mins.

Run times may vary by up to 20 minutes as they can be affected by last-minute programme changes, intervals and encores.


  • Standard entryFrom £10*
  • ConcessionsStudents £5**

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