The Other Citizen: Archive

By Brandon LaBelle

What forms might citizenship take within today’s global environments? Are there new practices of civic participation to be found outside the identitarian politics of nationhood? A type of DIY citizenship aimed at crafting networks of care and creative solidarities explicitly against settler culture? Drawing from a range of self-organized communities and collective initiatives and histories, Brandon LaBelle uses The Other Citizen: Archive to attempt to give narrative to instances of what Asef Bayat terms “an art of presence”.

The work functions as a speculative archive and experimental research environment focusing on forms of "floating citizenship" and the transitory communities that often arise in situations of struggle and resistance, festivity, and polyphony. This includes a library of documents, writings, materials, and recordings capturing particular community histories, cultural positions, and theoretical works, from expressions of Second Culture in the Prague Underground and Carnival Society found in the Armenian revolution to the punk cultures of Guadalajara. The work brings together an intentionally diverse and unstable collection of critical thoughts and social histories that may act as a framework for approaching the tensions between the imaginary and the powers that often work to capture free culture.

As an archive, the work celebrates the ways in which people “ontologically organize” (Papadopoulos) to rework the distribution of the heard in order to interrupt dominant powers; to recompose arenas of the everyday, and create possibilities for collective survival, not to mention for living life more joyfully. Underlying the work is an attempt to posit an Alteracoustics, figuring a space of reading and listening, and speaking and discussing that may extend as well as interrupt the archival impulse and discourses of citizenship.

Throughout the exhibition period, the artist will be present working on developing the archive through reading and the recording of conversations, as well as by engaging in rough presentations with invited guests.


Venue: Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien (Projektraum)

Opening: 25.1. | 19:00–23:00

Runs: 26-27.1. | 12:00–20:00
28.1.–2.2. | 12:00–22:00

The Other Citizen

Kunstquartier Studio 1, Thu 31.01.2019, 17:00

Brandon LaBelle