Brandon LaBelle








Dreams of a Sovereign Citizen

developed as part of Synsmaskin, artistic research project


Zagreb / The Hobo Subject  

Gallery Forum
Teslina 16, Zagreb

Event: October 27, 2016 / 17:00 – 22:00
Exhibition: October 28 – November 7, 2016

You've paid the going wages, that's what kept us on the bum.
You say you've done your duty, you chin-whiskered son of a gun.
We have sent your kids to college, but still you rave and shout.
And call us tramps and hoboes, and pesky go-abouts.
But now the long wintry breezes are a-shaking our poor frames,
And the long drawn days of hunger try to drive us boes insane.
It is driving us to action-we are organized today;
Us pesky tramps and hoboes are coming back to stay.

Drawing upon histories of migrant workers in the United States in the early part of the 20th century, and the culture of the Hobo, this durational performance work is presented as a series of actions that attempt to engage notions of transience. The conditions and experiences of itinerancy are adopted as a material and discursive vocabulary from which to consider what Vilém Flusser terms “the freedom of the migrant”: desperate measures and meager hopes, fantasies of the open road and experiences of exile, the lost and the newly arrived – these suggest a constellation of scenarios by which borders are put into question and alien formations of languages, materials and encounters are generated. Might hobo subjectivity act as the base for the tact and tenderness such encounters may foster? The seeking out of an alternative logic by which to construct new formations of thought and togetherness?

Developed within the framework of the larger project, Dreams of a Sovereign Citizen, the performance is an invitation to enter into an open space of experimental thinking and making, a “research action” that moves through a set of concepts and that seeks to stage a process of make-shift production. Following the performance, the left-over constructions and material remnants produced on-site will remain as an exhibition.

Curator: Evelina Turkovic. / radio interview, Croatian Radio: listen