Brandon LaBelle

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Dreams of a Sovereign Citizen

developed as part of Synsmaskin, artistic research project

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Toronto / The Church from Below  

Saturday, February 4, 19:00

Festival of Original Theater
The Luella Massey Studio Theatre
4 Glen Morris Street
Toronto

Drawing upon histories of peace movements in East Germany, the work takes the form of a performative installation housed within a former Lutheran Church, now The Luella Massey Studio Theatre. It draws out questions of resistance and emancipatory practices, staging a set of materials, recordings and documents that act as a greater scenography of the hidden and the dispossessed. In particular, the work considers how “the underground” performs to nurture the formation of a parallel polis, one that enacts an overall art of survival. From such actions, particular discourses and cultural productions are generated, from illegal publishing to a lyrical poetics of secret messages. In the case of East Germany, peace workshops and environmental protests found support through a network of socially engaged churches, which acted to camouflage dissident work. What might such histories and productions suggest in terms of contemporary crises and the desires for a new social body? How might the art of survival provide a guide for an aesthetics aimed at redistributing the sensible?

View related Paper produced for the exhibition: Umweltblatter