Brandon LaBelle








The Imaginary Republic

The Imaginary Republic takes the form of a series of 8 installations sited throughout an old stockfish warehouse on the outskirts of Bergen. Each installation draws upon expressions and fantasies of utopian life, using these as the basis for what Michael Warner calls "poetic world making". Self-built communities, secret societies, utopian worlds – these give vital expression to the deep-rooted desire for alternative living. The Imaginary Republic focuses on this creative desire, and aims to foreground the imagination as a central driving force not only for the construction of a different world, but also for exploring modes of self-governance, solidarity, togetherness, and autonomy.

At the core of the project is a consideration of the outsider and the stranger, the hobo and the creative worker as figures of imaginative production, interruption and resistance, as well as bodies that generate global relations - an itinerate mode of thinking, doing, saying and relating. Capturing this itinerant mode, the project is a material archive of the dreams that may inspire us toward a sense for common and uncommon life.

Location: Sandviksboder 78b, Bergen / September 24 - 28th, 2014

Produced by Volt, Bergen

The exhibition occupies the building at Sandiviksboder 78b, spanning three floors.

Ground floor:
"Rehearsal for a People's Microphone", (three speakers, banners, audio 19min), 2013- 2014
"Occupy (poetics of relation)", (cloth, text, tent structures), 2014


Second Floor:
"Hobo Nation", (clay, wood, two videos ("Hobo Holiday", monitor with sound, 6min / "Modern Times (biopolitical confessions)", projection silent, 90min), 2014
"The Stranger Diagram (do you know the way to the settlement house?)", (four wood panels, text, three speakers, audio 24min), 2012-2014
"Black Bloc (poetics of shadow)", (cloth, table, spatial model, video (silent) 18min), 2012-2014
"I am Metropolitan Indian (ghost dance)", (metal and porcelain objects, video with audio 7min), 2014
"Back to Martinique", (wood, plastic bags, four speakers, audio 25min), 2014


Third Floor:
"Creative Workers International (discourses and choreographies)", (six bookcases, binders, texts, objects, banner, table, video with audio 23min), 2014