Brandon LaBelle








Dreams of a Sovereign Citizen

developed as part of Synsmaskin, artistic research project


Barcelona / The Night Birds (take back the city)  

Friday, March 17, 21:00

La Virreina Centre de la Imatge
Palau de la Virreina
La Rambla, 99
08002 Barcelona

In collaboration with Luis Guerra.

The night is a zone of fragile bodies and fragile identity; in the dark one may disappear or take refuge, finding solidarity through shared passions or loss – sudden communities and collectivities emerge from within the shadowy territories of the night. The trembling conditions of the nocturnal act as a primal scene of the imaginary: forms shift under the dreamy pull of moonlight, and behaviors are overturned, leading to erotic, criminal, and monstrous sensibilities and sensations. The night is not only this particular time of day, but equally a type of logic, one that specifically infuses reason and rationality with the spectral and the evanescent, loneliness and the possibilities of a dark magic. Extending from the logic of the nocturnal, The Night Birds is a performative event that meditates upon the deep and complicated richness of night identity and night knowledge. Appearing as an ambient lounge and haunted archive, for drifting off or delving in, the event poses the night as the basis for rethinking citizen practices. What kinds of civic relations may be crafted from the logic of the night? Is it possible to construct from the shady thoughts of night birds and night crawlers a new sense for city life, especially for new formations of public power? If, as Ada Colau suggests in her mayoral manifesto, it is time to take back the city through forms of citizen participation, what might the logic of the night offer in terms of constructing new resistances to the neoliberal city? In what way may politics be enacted through the poetic identity of night citizens?

View related Paper produced for the exhibition: night report