The series of lecture-performances “Visualising the invisible hand” is part of a work cycle centered around the container as an emblematic image of globalization, the power of objects in capitalist society, and their impact on humans. Conceived by Romana Schmalisch and Robert Schlicht, artists in residence at Iméra in 2022, the performance series is divided into two parts. While the first presentation focuses on the metaphors used to describe social relationships, the second part of the performance series explores the interactions between goods and the people who consume them.

visualiser la main invisible performance schlicht schmalish 1

Visualising the invisible hand

Monday, February 19, 2024, at 4:00 PM


By Romana Schmalisch and Robert Schlicht, researchers (artists and filmmakers)

This performance-lecture aims to examine the tension between the visibility and invisibility of the container, and by extension, society in general. Indeed, what does the image of an office, a factory, a warehouse, or a container reveal about the social relationships at play? In the case of the container, its steel sheets hide not only goods but also the socio-economic relationships in which it is involved or enables.

Globalization would not have been possible without the container, which revolutionized not only work processes in ports and the flow of international trade but also the capitalist economy as a whole. Container terminals today seem guided by an “invisible hand,” materialized by artificial intelligence guiding ships and planning loadings and unloadings, seemingly solving all problems by itself and leaving humans as mere spectators of an ever-optimized flow.

In partnership with the Laboratoire d’économie et de sociologie du travail (LEST), the ANR project Le Grand Entrepôt, the Goethe-Institut Marseille, the Iméra Institute for Advanced Studies (IEA) at Aix-Marseille University, the Mucem, and Montévidéo. With the support of the Akademie der Künste and the Berlin Senate – Department of Culture and Social Cohesion. This project was made possible thanks to the support of Seayard and the Port of Marseille Fos.

TicketsFree entry upon registration at (subject to availability)
LocationMucem, Fort Saint-Jean—MucemLab
HorairesWednesday, February 19, 2024, from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM