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Communities in Movement

Conceived by Brandon LaBelle

with María Escobar (SP), Fátima Cué Pérez (SP), Catalina Mahecha (CO), África Nieto (SP), Paco Lidón (SP), Ohiana Altube (SP), Raúl de Marcos (SP), Octavio Camargo (BR), Nico Dockx (BE), Katía Truijen (NL), Laure Severac (FR), Sveinung Unneland (NO), Israel Martínez (MX), Lise Skou (DA), Quote-Unquote (RO), Anca Benera & Arnold Estefan (RO), Daniela Custrin (RO), Yota Ioannidou (GR), María García Ruiz (SP)


From bands of teenagers gathering at night to neighborhood garden initiatives, from solidarity expressed across nation-states to underground libraries of forbidden books, what constitutes community is less clear than often imagined. Rather, community – a being-in-common – is more a movement than an identity, more an ecosystem than a castle, providing support and mutual aid as well as the courage to do more for others. Following Stavros Stravides’ notion of community as threshold, which fosters encounters and negotiations with others, the exhibition brings together selected creative materials and artifacts capturing the activities of the artistic research project Communities in Movement (2019-23). The project aims to query what it means to be in community through staging forms of collaborative experimentation across different sites. This has included configuring specific research frameworks, such as radical sympathy, the destituent lab, the listening biennial, and party studies, through which practices and discourses emerge. In particular, the project poses community as a verb rather than a noun, as something one does or undergoes rather than represents. Community, in this way, is positioned as a profoundly creative act, one that works at holding together, nurturing, defending, and accepting the weight and potentiality found in collective power, however temporary or small, hidden or outspoken. While community may name itself, knowing of itself in particular ways, it equally pushes against its own boundaries. It is, as carla bergman suggests, grounded in a form of political love, which is tensed by sharing and disappointment, joy and envy, desire and daily care. Considering these perspectives, the exhibition is staged in three chapters or movements, each of which presents a specific set of works and propositions. Under the titles, Self-Built, Exit, and Creature, the three movements give expression to particular modes of performing community, from improvised constructs of dwelling to methods of escape to creative forms of becoming. Each chapter opens with an iteration of The Pirate Academy, and includes a program of presentations and performances with invited guests over multiple evenings.

The project is supported by the Norwegian Artistic Research Program, and the Faculty of Music, Design and Fine Art, University of Bergen.

November 2: Opening, 18.00, with Pirate Academy 19.00–22.00
November 3 & 4, evenings: Pirate Academy, with Katía Truijen and Israel Martínez

November 30: Reopening
December 1–2, 19.00–22.00: The Pirate Academy with Nico Dockx

January 11–14, Reopening with special gallery hours: 13.00–19.00
Live performances January 12–14, 3 hours each day with Catalina Mahecha (CO)
January 12–13, 19.00–22.00: The Pirate Academy

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