The Phantom of Liberty: Contemporary Art and the Pedagogical Paradox is published following the exhibition 'Learning for Life' and the seminar 'School is a Factory' in 2012 and 2013 at Henie Onstad Kunstsenter, Norway.

'One of the few things we have in common in contemporary society is the future of our children. But it seems that even the “we” of childhood, of learning and free play, has turned into a common ground for instrumentalisation and competition. Today, the pedagogical paradox—Kant’s meditation on the paradox that the subject’s predisposition for freedom must be learned—is increasingly lost in governmental obsession about the efficiency of education and schooling. From another perspective, artists are addressing questions of childhood, play, and pedagogy.

What ideological and moral transformations is the school system currently undergoing? What do the psychiatric diagnoses and treatments mean that are increasingly applied to children and youth? What happened to the reform pedagogy of the twentieth century? What is the status of childhood in the era of the consuming child and the playing adult? These are some of the questions addressed by The Phantom of Liberty, which sets out to reestablish a social and aesthetic dialogue between visual art and psychology, philosophy, pedagogy, and critical journalism.' - from publisher's website

Includes biographies of authors.

Access level


Location code


Publication/Creation date




No of copies


Content type


Chapter headings

Introduction - Tone HANSEN, Lars Bang LARSEN

School and Control Society

School is a Factory - Allan SEKULA

Are You Profitable, Little Friend? How Performance Assessment Reprograms the Ethics of Schooling - Magnus MARSDAL

Western Education - Dave Hullfish BAILEY

ADHD: The Pathologisation and Medicalisation of Active/Restless Boys in Highly Individualised Late-Modern Societies? - Carsten Rene JORGENSEN

Pedagogical Paradoxes

Psyche o' the Times: The Rhythm of Melancholia - Marit PAASCHE

Nature/Exhibition - Ane Hjort GUTTU

Freedom Means Doing Something for No Reason: On the Future of a Concept - Carl HEGEMANN

Historical Alternatives

Light in Two Windows - Nils CHRISTIE

The Modern School: Lessons in Anarcho-collectivism - Adelita HUSNI BEY

The Majority Never Has Right on Its Side - Emanuel ALMBORG

The Child in Art - Art and Children

History's Intimate Others: The Child and Its Play in Contemporary Art - Lars Bang LARSEN

Film Archive - Sharon LOCKHART

The Phantom of Liberty: Contemporary Art and the Pedagogical Paradox
Rights statement

In Copyright

What does this mean?

This item is covered by one or more copyrights. It is available for research only or use within Hong Kong’s fair dealing rules. Please do not copy, re-use or reproduce this item without the permission of the copyright holder.


The Phantom of Liberty: Contemporary Art and the Pedagogical Paradox

Relevant content

Life Lessons #6: Kwasi Ohene-Ayeh & Zeyno Pekünlü | Working Collectively
Programmes | Life Lessons

Life Lessons #6: Kwasi Ohene-Ayeh & Zeyno Pekünlü | Working Collectively

Thu, 3 Dec 2020, 8–9pm HKT