The Anarchist Ashram

Join us for the opening of The Anarchist Ashram: Education as an ecosystem for art. Art as an environment for education. As part of the Imaginary Republic exhibition held at Kunsthall 3.14, participating artist and activist Joulia Strauss will offer The Anarchist Ashram as a one-week workshop dedicated to practicing forbidden, discredited and peripheral forms of knowledge.

The workshop will be between 13 and 18 o´clock, from Friday Nov. 9th to Wednesday Nov. 14th. Drop in at any time!

For the launch of the Ashram we will give short introductions to the processes and activist practices we have been part of prior to the unfolding of the Anarchist Ashram into the Imaginary Republic. These introductions will be held not only in human language but also as soundscapes that will shapeshift into an inaugural ritual, opening the floor to participants to contribute performances and actions.

The lineup for the evening:

– Vilde Jensen
> Herbalist surprize

– Emma Fuchs Sjövall
> Testing Smooth Communication

– Clara Mosconi
> Sacredia / Island listening group

– Tanja Silvestrini
> Sonic Interruptions

– Brandon LaBelle
> Soundscapes

– Joulia Strauss
> Songs of the Transindigenous

We will also reveal details about the upcoming week and prepare the participants for our special guests: Nitya (Tibetan Pulsing), and Maja Chiara Faber (Modern Astrology).

Anarchist Ashram
Education as an ecosystem for art. Art as an environment for education.
With the decentering of the West, art is opening up to the deep database of inspiring techniques of Enlightenment crucial for our socio-political struggles today. In our Imaginary Republic, the Imaginary becomes the Real and marginalizes the perverted, pre-quantic “reality” of biocapitalism. Side effects: we might never be able to come back to our depressive ego-based individualistic art studios.

Joulia Strauss (the political activist supercat shaman artist in Athens) stands for a chord of artistic media, resonating in a deep bond with philosophy, technology, and politics. She founded and organizes Avtonomi Akadimia, a socio-cybernetic sculpture for education after the era of master discourse. Strauss’ works were recently presented at the Documenta 14, Tate Modern, London, and ZKM | Center for Art and Media, Karlsruhe. In collaboration with Peter Berz, Peter Weibel, and Friedrich Kittler, she has edited a book titled Gods and Writing around the Mediterranean, Wilhelm Fink Verlag / Brill Publishers, May 2017.


The Imaginary Republic / 3,14

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.

Rough Seminar #3

Rough Seminar #3: The City of Joy

Wednesday, April 11, 2018 / 7:00pm

Presentation by Katalin Szekely and moderated by Brandon LaBelle

Kunsthall 3,14, Vaagsallmenningen 12, 5014 Bergen


Seminar #3 is led by Katalin Szekely, a member of the curatorial team of OFF-Biennale Budapest. Katalin Szekely will present the work of OFF-Biennale, and its recent edition Gaudiopolis (The City of Joy), drawing upon histories of The Children’s Republic, an orphanage emerging from the second world war in Budapest. The City of Joy served as a framework for the Biennale, and its aim to nurture new forms of creative solidarity and independent culture in the city.

With a MA in Art History and German Literature (ELTE, Budapest) Katalin Szekely was a curator at Ludwig Museum – Museum of Contemporary Art between 2008 and 2013. Since then she has been a PhD candidate in the Doctoral Program in Film, Media and Contemporary Culture at Eötvös Loránd University. Her field of research includes new media practices in the neo-avantgarde in Hungary and Central and Eastern Europe, and institutional critique in the CEE region from the early 60s to the present. Since 2014, she has been a member of the curatorial team of OFF-Biennale Budapest, the largest independent, grass roots arts initiative in Hungary. Since November 2015, as Creative Program Officer at Blinken Open Society Archives she curates and coordinates exhibitions and other public programs.

Rough Seminar #2

Rough Seminar #2: Everyone is an artist. Folk art: a radical reading

Thursday, January 11, 2018 / 7:00pm

Presentation by Ekaterina Sharova and moderated by Brandon LaBelle

Kunsthall 3,14, Vaagsallmenningen 12, 5014 Bergen


Seminar #2 is led by Ekaterina Sharova (art historian, curator, producer, educator) who will present her current research devoted to folk culture in the Northern Russia, seen in the light of L. Vygotsky, J. Beuys, P. Bourdieu and P. Freire.

Ekaterina Sharova, Everyone is an artist. Folk art: a radical reading

Territory of contemporary Euro-Arctic Russia seems to be the most exciting and undiscovered region in the country. The territory of the North has been the most remote region in Russia, where the ancient epos of Kievan Rus and Novgorod republic have been preserved for several centuries, such as bylina, skomoroshina, plach, and the whole number of pagan and Christian rituals connected to the year circle and life of the Northern peasant. During the rapid industrialization in the North in 1930s, local culture started to be gradually replaced by Soviet propaganda, when ancient folklore bylinas (live documentation of the oral history of Russia) were replaced by novinas (epos about political leaders of the new state), and where Christian architecture in the North has been destroyed by supporters of the new ideology. Oral history, visual culture, wooden architecture of the North is just awaiting its digitalization, research and international attention, as its fate during USSR can be a lesson how non-sustainable innovations can lead to destruction of own heritage, but also to the beauty of the ancient texts, images and ways of life.

Since 1990s, after the heavy collapse of USSR, there are many challenges with identity and local heritage, with global popular culture taking over the existing markets, and where the old-fashioned management approach does not seem to give results anymore. New, sustainable methods seem urgent and necessary.

What can a producer and curator do in this complicated context, where culture is still run under plan economy principles, where participatory budgets, scholarships and state funding competitions just start to appear? How to make an expression which will have an applied value for the local audience? How to put the audience in the very center of production and to develop effective mechanisms of knowledge exchange between local and international experts? How the processes of re-discovery of the heritage can empower local people? What is folk art and folk culture today? Who is actually the artist, in the very end?

Ekaterina Sharova

Curator and producer working with interdisciplinary experiments, ecology of culture in the Post-Soviet context, education, aesthetics of everyday life, models of alternative economy and decentralization. Guest lecturer at Northern (Arctic) State University. Has written for, Klassekampen, Nytid, Billedkunst. Since 2012, Ekaterina has been involved on developing contemporary art scene and creative industries in Euro-Arctic region of Russia, support of young artists and producers, education and promotion of innovation and creative thinking. In 2014, she created Arctic Art Institute together with other artists and sociologists. Arctic Art Institute is an independent group of producers, who have collaborated with Garage Museum of Contemporary Art (Moscow), Collectio del Museo Ruso (Malaga), Kunsthall Stavanger, and a number of other institutions, however so far it has still remained a grassroot group.

Room for Improved Futures

The Imaginary Republic acts as a contributing partner to Room for Improved Futures, a two year exhibition program based in Aarhus. The project is initiated by rum46 – curated and organized by curator Agnieszka Wolodzko and visual artist Grete Aagaard in collaboration with the art projects and platforms Trade Test Site, Sigrids Stue, Imaginary Republic and CCS Centre for Contemporary Art Kiev. In Room for Improved Futures we invite a diverse group of practitioners, artists, writers and theorists who will address issues on democracy, urbanity, participation, community and hidden economies. The project is organized in 4 public programs each divided in 3 sessions which will include artists’ talks and presentations, exhibitions, lectures, texts and workshops.

Exhibition, Bergen

Hélène Frichot
Luis Guerra
Marianne Heier
Georgia Kotretsos
Brandon LaBelle
Marysia Lewandowska
Sala-manca group
Lise Skou

Tag Team Studios, Bergen

September 9, 2016 – 19:00h
(Kotretsos, Guerra, Heier, LaBelle)
September 22, 2016 – 19:00h
(Frichot, Lewandowska, Sala-manca group, Skou)
September 10, 11, 17, 18, 24, 25
October 1, 2, 8, 9, 15, 16
12:00 – 17:00h

In conjunction with the Partisan Café event program, The Bergen Assembly:
Marianne Heier / September 8th – 17:00h
Marysia Lewandowska, Lise Skou / September 23rd – 17:00h
Diego Rotman, Brandon LaBelle / September 24th – 17:00h

The Imaginary Republic looks at questions of public life and civic culture in today’s global environment, and considers how ongoing economic, social and political unrest has led to an intensification of grass-roots initiatives, artistic activism, alternative instituting and forms of commoning.

As a network of related participants, the project develops through shared methods and modes of experimental pedagogy, critical togetherness, public and creative instituting, and looks to identify through their expressions possibilities for political imagining. The political imagination is posited as a tool for problematizing and negotiating contemporary crises, enabling an understanding of public assembly as being founded upon intensely creative and psychic labors that equally contain secret desires, generative noises, breaks in identity and community, and assemblages of deviant knowledge.

In his book, Disagreement, Jacques Rancière identifies two sides to the governmental, what he calls “the political” and “the police”. As he states, often what we imagine as “the political” is only a mode of policing. Such a dichotomous view, while providing an important perspective, may overlook the more nuanced, in-between articulations found in grass-roots movements, civic cultures, radical dreaming, unlikely friendships and acts of (non)work, the daily rituals and encounters between neighbors and strangers, as well as the deep poetics of relating to what is not yet, through which agency and collective actions find their future footing.

The exhibition at Tag Team Studios, divided into two editions, brings together works, propositions, and documents that consider relations between individual determination and social and institutional structures. Questions of art and economy, biopolitics and vacancy, transience, piracy and infrastructures of the poor are brought forward as critical and creative arenas of struggle.

The exhibition is presented in collaboration with the Partisan Café, and includes three evening events with participating artists.

See more info:

Organized with support from the Bergen Academy of Art and Design.

Communiqué #0

The sun has gone down!
 The night is upon us!
 The time of drunkeness and fantasy, the time of wolves and of dreamers!
 The hour of the encounter!

Shall we play dead? 
Shall we run?
 Shall we find the exit?
 Shall we continue to dream?

To the Imaginaries – of the foreclosed and the hopeful, the dreamy-eyed and the tenacious – we gather here alongside the mountains and the sea, to make a claim onto the future horizon of a possible resistance. A possible construction.

To vote for each other.

Shall we honor the fallen? Shall we storm the gates? Shall we capture the flag? Shall we wait?

Pause Hesitate Occupy

Gather Exchange Plot and Plan

Shall we scratch the surface, or dig deep?
 Shall we create another territory?

Shall we hold hands? To carry the weight… Together

Shall we turn the other way? Shall we strike? 
Shall we refuse to pay the rent? Shall we build an underground culture, secret?

To the Imaginaries – of the enstated and the stateless, the papered and the paperless – let us announce with trembling heart the making of spaces of hope.