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 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. 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 and resistance, as well as the dreams that may haunt and inspire us toward other modes of being together.
The Imaginary Republic investigates historical models of utopian communities and social reform, as well as providing material expressions that might inspire a sense for common and uncommon life. The project by Brandon LaBelle takes the form of a series of installations sited in an old stockfish warehouse on the outskirts of Bergen. It seeks to incite speculation upon different models of the imaginary republic defined by the itinerant and the fugitive.