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THE PARTISAN CAFÉ

Conceived by Nora Sternfeld in collaboration with artist Isa Rosenberger and artist and educator Jenny Moore.

Location: The former fire station, Bergen Gamle Brannstasjon
Opening Hours: Thu–Tue 10am–6pm
(events outside these hours as advertised)

The Partisan Café is an educational/performative/artistic practice as a coffee house at the centre of The Museum of Burning Questions, located in the occupied former fire station, and is conceived by Nora Sternfeld of freethought with Jenny Moore and designed by artist Isa Rosenberger in collaboration with architect Heidi Pretterhofer. The Museum of Burning Questions is a space to think and debate – with the Partisan Café as its central contact zone. The Museum of Burning Questions has a starting point in the history of fires in Bergen, yet situates itself in broader discourses about infrastructures.

The title ‘Partisan Café’ is related to a choice: partisan instead of participation. It borrows directly from “the Partisan Coffee House” – a space for gatherings, conversation and debate in London Soho in the late 1950s, organised by the New Left.

 

ARCHIVE OF THE PARTISAN COFFEE HOUSE

Curated by Nora Sternfeld in collaboration with historian Mike Berlin.

Location: The former fire station, Bergen Gamle Brannstasjon

Together with Nora Sternfeld of freethought, Mike Berlin will curate an archival display to share insights into the history of ‘The Partisan Coffee House’. The presentation will explore the little known history of a key institution in the creation of the British New Left. Founded in Soho, London in 1958, the Partisan Coffee House only lasted some four years but in its brief life it was the nexus of a post war generation of engaged intellectuals who helped to create a new oppositional culture, bringing together the art, music, and literature of the late 1950s in resistance to the political orthodoxies of the Cold War, and creating a space out of which alternative visions of the second half of the twentieth century were forged.

During the five weeks of Bergen Assembly 2016 (1 September – 1 October 2016), the Partisan Café will host a programme of events, discussions, screenings and music to explore the political, urban and cultural dimensions of our infrastructural condition. The programme is curated by freethought in collaboration with Brandon LaBelle, artist and Professor in New Media at Bergen Academy of Art and Design, and will follow four strands:

 

THE IMAGINARY REPUBLIC

Curated by Brandon LaBelle

Looking at the visual/political dimensions of infrastructure politics, this strand builds on key questions identified in the freethought seminars and open the debate about the relationship between culture, politics and infrastructure.

 

SHADOW CITIZENRY

Curated by Louis Moreno

Based on Andy Merrifield’s manifesto in celebration of The Amateur, this strand addresses the practical techniques/education that citizens need to defend themselves against professionalization / neoliberalism.

 

DANCING TABLES

Curated by Nora Sternfeld

This strand thinks about the tables and worlds between us, curating and institutions as assemblies and about how to come together and disassemble from within.

 

ACOUSTIC SPECTRES

Curated by Louis Moreno

This strand provides a catalyst for discussion about how infrastructure provides financial capital with a means to embed itself in people’s lives and insulate itself from the visual field of politics. By exploring how we perceive and conceive the acoustic traces of debt and credit, the discussions aim to animate a new sense of how the financial infrastructure of globalisation is embedded in the conditions of daily life.

 

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