The Imaginary Republic
Tatiana Fiodorova, Octavio Camargo / Brandon LaBelle, Sala-manca group, Joulia Strauss
October 18 – December 16, 2018
Kunsthall 3,14 / Bergen, Norway
The Imaginary Republic looks at questions of public life and civic culture in today’s globally fraught environment. It questions ongoing social and political unrest and how this has led to an intensification of grass-roots initiatives, artistic activism, and practices of commoning. In particular, the project considers the creative expressions and dissident imaginaries of contemporary political subjectivity.
The exhibition features participating artists whose works and practices engage with communities of struggle, transitional zones and the drive of autonomous cultures. It brings into play forms and fictions by which emergent social configurations work as solidarity machines. As such, it sets out to dialogue with what Stavros Stavrides calls “communities in movement”. These act as expressions of social thresholds, where borders function less as fortifications and more as points of contact with others. Communities in movement suggest new lines of collective power by traversing and upsetting demarcations of the managed self. Such configurations of sociality rework patterns of neoliberal life described by Isabell Lorey as “governing through insecurity”. Instead, they bring forward a culture of radical sharing and co-existence. The works presented in the exhibition dialogue with these larger issues and realities, articulating fragile meetings and temporary dwellings, imaginary journeys and the creative resistances found in small gestures of care. As such, they document and point toward ways of figuring an art of survival.
About the artist projects in short:
Tatiana Fiodorova tells a story through aging Moldovan women in order to help to rethink the Soviet past and present. Brandon LaBelle & Octavio Camargo introduces us to the special environment of Sala 603, an unofficial theater space located in a house in Curitiba, Brazil. he work is presented through two parallel video projections, and acts as a poetic maze of hope and despair, the joy and exhaustion of shared resistances. The Sala-manca group explores the poetics of cultural translation with a focus on language, media, the urban environment, and new technologies. Joulia Strauss participates with a sculpture called “Molotus” in collaboration with Clara Mosconi. A hybrid between a Molotov cocktail and a meditation lotus, the sculpture aims to blast the notion of an art work as a product, and celebrate the flow of an artistic process.
As part of the exhibition held participating artist and activist Joulia Strauss will lead a one-week workshop dedicated to collectivity and the lessons of forbidden knowledges. The Anarchist Ashram will focus on the presentation and practice of forbidden, discredited and peripheral forms of knowledge. With the current decentering of the West, art is opening up to the deep database of alternative techniques of Enlightenment which are crucial for our socio-political struggles today. The Ashram will act as an Imaginary Republic, where the Imaginary becomes the Real through which to marginalize the perverted, pre-quantic “reality” of biocapitalism. Through such work, we’ll explore ways of manifesting a new social body, undoing and unlearning certain patterns inscribed onto our imaginations. Side effects: we might never be able to come back to our depressive ego-based individualistic art studios.
Daily: November 7th – 14th, 2018. Evening events will be announced.