Communities in Movement: Pirate Academy: Kunsthall 3,14, Bergen, Norway

Brandon LaBelle (US), África Nieto (SP), Anca Benera & Arnold Estefan (RO), Annette le Fort (DE), Catalina Mahecha (CO), Daniela Custrin (RO), Eamon O'Kane (IE/DK), Fátima Cué Pérez (SP), Israel Martínez (MX), Katía Truijen (NL), Laure Severac (FR), María Escobar (SP), María García Ruiz (SP), Nico Dockx (BE), Octavio Camargo (BR), Ohiana Altube (SP), Paco Lidón (SP), Raúl de Marcos (SP), Sveinung Unneland (NO), Quote-Unquote (RO), Yota Ioannidou (GR)

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 the writer 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 (2019-2023). The project aims to ask what it means to be in community through staging forms of collaborative experimentation across different sites. This has included creating specific research frameworks, such as radical sympathy, experimetal gatherings, the listening biennial, and party studies, through which practices and discourses emerge.

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 understood 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. 
Community is, as the activist and writer carla bergman suggests, grounded in a form of political love, which is tensed by sharing and disappointment, joy and envy, desire and daily care.

The exhibition is staged in three chapters, each of which presents a specific set of works and themes. Under the titles, Self-Built, Exit, and Creature, the three chapters express ways of performing community, from improvised constructs of dwelling to methods of escape to creative forms of becoming.

Each chapter opens with The Pirate Academy, an event with presentations and performances with invited guests over multiple evenings. The Pirate Academy brings together artists, activists and scholars, and inspires to challenge dominating perspectives and practices with art and discussions.

The exhibition is conceived by Brandon LaBelle. He is an artist, writer and theorist working with questions of social life and cultural agency, using sound, performance, text and sited constructions. LaBelle develops and presents artistic projects and performances within a range of international contexts, often working collaboratively and in public. This leads to interventions and performative installations, voice work, and micro-actions aimed at the sphere of the (un)common and the unlikely. His current research projects focus on sonic agency, voice and the mouth, poetic knowledge, commonism and the aesthetics and politics of invisibility.

Communities in Movement: Program

First chapter: Self-Built

Thursday November 2, 18.00, Exhibition opening
November 2–4, 19.00–22.00, The Pirate Acdemy* with the artists Katía Truijen and Israel Martínez
November 5–27, Normal opening hours

Second chapter: Exit

November 27–29, Kunsthall 3,14 is temporarily closed while remaking the exhibition
Thursday, November 30, Reopening the exhibition with normal opening hours: 12.00–17.00
Desember 1–2, 19.00–22.00, The Pirate Academy* with Nico Dockx and (in honor of) Laure Severac
December 3–17, Normal opening hours
December 18 –January 1, Kunsthall 3,14 is closed for the holidays
January 2 –January 7, Normal opening hours

Third chapter: Creature

Januar 8–10, Kunsthall 3,14 is closed while
remaking the exhibition
Januar 11–14, Reopening the exhibition with special opening hours, 13–19.00.
January 12–13 The Pirate Academy*, live performances with Catalina Mahecha

January 14, normal opening hours. Last day to see the exhibition

*The Pirate Academy brings together artists, activists, scholars and the public, and inspires to challenge dominating perspectives and practices with art and discussions.

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