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Press release, February 2018

We invite you to join us when we present ideas of utopia by: Imri Sandström, Marie Moberg,
Nanna Lysholt Hansen, Peter Brandt and Stathis Tsemberlidis.

On Saturday March 3rd we open our doors to an exploration of what a future without patriarchy might be. Over a period of 4 months artists, writers, activist groups, debaters and more will join in the search for an answer to the question: what is your feminist utopia?

For the exhibition Shaking the habitual we move away from the idea of a traditional exhibition instead focusing on a more event-oriented program. The purpose is, not to present one vision of a future society but many thereby escaping consensus and uniformity for the sake of diversity and potentially conflicting views. meters physical exhibition space has been rebuild and altered. The result is a part of scenographer Marie Mobergs vision of an ultra-democratic place accessible to all bodies and opinions. Within this space we will be hosting artworks, performances, screenings, readings, workshops, seminars, talks, panel discussions and a library of various publications.

Opening: Saturday March 3rd, from 3-8 pm.
Exhibition period: March 3rd - June 23rd, 2018.

Program for March 3rd from 3 - 8 pm:

  • In unison with participants in the exhibition program we will read excerpts of utopian manifests.
  • Imri Sandström will do a reading of her text: IN THE NOT-APOCALYPSE.
  • The day ends with a bite to eat.
Work in progress PATRIARCHY IS ALREADY A RUIN by Imri Sandström, 2018.

Work in progress PATRIARCHY IS ALREADY A RUIN by Imri Sandström, 2018.

Shaking the habitual: What is your utopia? is an exhibition that will develop and change during the 4 month program. From March 3rd - June 23rd we will present artworks, performances, workshops, readings, seminars, talks, panel discussions & a library of various publications in collaboration with:

Daregender, Eva La Cour, Imri Sandström, Inga Lāce & Solvita Krese, Jacob Remin & friends, Johannes Anyuru, Laboratory for Aesthetics & Ecology, Linda Lazer & Nina Ghafari, Marie Moberg, Mette Moestrup, Miriam Haile, Nanna Lysholt Hansen, Nazila Kivi & Salon Hysteria, Olga Ravn, Paola Paleari & Yolanda Dominguez, Peter Brandt, Poesiens Hus, Rasmus Brink Pedersen, SHE’S A SHOW, Stathis Tsemberlidis, Støberiet, Tine Tvergaard, Tomas Lagermand Lundme, Warehouse9 and more. 

We rarely talk about utopia anymore. Most future scenarios today are determined by a sense of disaster and the dystopic outcome of environmental catastrophe, overpopulation as well as economic and social exploitation. Utopia seems perhaps too unrealistic. Still attached to the phenomenon lingers a reminder of how ideas of better societies in many instances turned into totalitarian regimes.

However throughout history the utopia has been an important tool in reimagine future scenarios. It has created a free space where we can play with different social structures that challenges existing norms and presumptions. For this reason utopias have also been important in creating a space from where voices of the less powerful have been able to safely reimagine their position in society.

"Utopian then becomes a refuge or shelter wherein we may safely envision a changed society. And although mere metaphor located in no real place, utopia nonetheless has power - utopian ideals and ideas change minds: changed minds then change worlds." - Carol Farley Kessler “Daring to Dream: Utopian Fiction by United States Women Before 1950”, 1995.

We have seen visualisations of a possible future in feminist literature dating back to the 17th century where writers such as Margaret Cavendish imagined women in positions of power to Muslim feminist Begum Rokeya whose work in the early 20th Century drew on Science Fiction in order to reimagine a society based on equality. The utopian idea can also be found in Afrofuturism. Often regarded as a cultural genre, a re-imagining of African traditions that projects techno-futuristic possibilities Afrofuturism as exemplified by Jazz legend Sun Ra envisions both past and possible new futures.

We understand patriarchy as a structure that maintains stereotypes and police certain ideas of gender, race, sexuality etc. Consequently patriarchy is not just a system oppressing women but something that affects everyone. We take our point of departure in intersectional feminism recognizing that discrimination can be experienced in varying configurations as fx.: racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, xenophobia, classism and more - that they can be interconnected but also recognizing that not everyone has the same experience of discrimination.

The exhibition is supported by: The Danish Arts Foundation, The City of Copenhagen, Nørrebro Lokaludvalg & Copenhagen Libraries.