Talk and conversation with Brandon LaBelle and Marianne Heier

THURS 8.9.2016

Partisan Café
Bergen Gamle Brannstasjon
Rådstuplassen 9,
5014 Bergen (Entrance at Christies gate)

To open The Imaginary Republic series, artists Marianne Heier and Brandon LaBelle will consider the relation between art and economy, and how grass-roots initiatives in Norway and the US have led to particular visions and models for public cultural funding as well as expressions of radical solidarity.

The Imaginary Republic looks at questions of public life and civic culture in today’s global environment, and how recent economic, social and political unrest have led to an intensification of grass-roots initiatives, artistic activism, and forms of public commoning. The project positions itself as a creative and critical dialogue within this context, and aims to investigate strategies and formations of dissident imagination, meager hopes and creative instituting.

These issues and concerns will be addressed through a series of talks and discussions led by participating artists and researchers with a particular focus on forms of critical togetherness and emancipatory practices. In particular, the project searches for ways to engage public life as the basis for intensities of cultural imagination and considers artistic means for renewing people power.

The series of talks is run parallel to the related exhibition at Tag Team Studios (Openings: September 9th & 22nd – 19:00h).

For more details:


Marianne Heier is an artist based in Oslo. In her projects she often explores specific institutions ‘from the inside’. Her work can be seen as situated within an institution-critical artistic tradition; but Heier’s critique from the inside is more often the result of personal engagement, motivated by personal, lived experience, than of a calculated, strategic institution-critical praxis. Questions related to economy and the circulation of value are central in her work, and she has often used gifts as an artistic strategy. Her recent solo exhibitions and projects in public space include ”Orfeus”, Kunstnernes Hus, Oslo (2013), ”Surplus”, Bergen kunsthall (2012), ”Jamais – Toujours,” Stenersen Museum, Oslo (2010); ”Saga Night”, Maihaugen, Lillehammer (2008); Pioneer, ROM, Oslo (2007); and Waldgänger, KORO, Hammerfest (2008). She has participated in group exhibitions at a number of institutions such as the National Museum for Art, Architecture and Design (2008 and 2014), Malmö art museum (2013), Trondheim Art Museum (2013), Kunsthall Oslo (2011); Hiap, Helsinki (2010); Overgaden, Copenhagen (2009); and Henie Onstad Art Centre (2009).

Brandon LaBelle is an artist, writer and theorist working with sound culture, voice, and questions of agency. He develops and presents artistic projects and performances within a range of international contexts, often working collaboratively and in public. His work has been presented at South London Gallery, London (2016), Liquid Architecture, Melbourne (2015), Marrakech Biennial (2014), General Public, Berlin (2013), Whitney Museum, NY (2012), Image Music Text, London (2011), Sonic Acts, Amsterdam (2010), A/V Festival, Newcastle (2008, 2010), Tramway, Glasgow (2010), Museums Quartier/ Tonspur, Vienna (2009), and 7th Bienal do Mercosul, Porto Allegro (2009). Also a prolific writer, his books include Lexicon of the Mouth: Poetics and Politics of Voice and the Oral Imaginary (2014), Diary of an Imaginary Egyptian (2012), Acoustic Territories: Sound Culture and Everyday Life (2010), and Background Noise: Perspectives on Sound Art (2015; 2006). He is the editor of Errant Bodies Press and Professor at the Bergen Academy of Art and Design, Norway.