Sarah Browne, Juliana Cerqueira Leite / Zoë Claire Miller, Feminist Health Care Research Group (Julia Bonn og Inga Zimprich), Joscelyn Gardner, Paula Pin / BioTransLab



Phytogyne Garden

Sick and Desiring is a curatorial contribution to Bergen Assembly 2019 by Nora Heidorn.

Sick and Desiring is an ongoing curatorial research project that asks, how can we politicise sickness and organise around shared vulnerabilities to live the body as a space for resistance? 

The project encompasses an exhibition, workshops and screenings. Discursive, researchbased and activist practices reveal and subvert historical and ongoing patterns of medicalisation and pathologisation of gendered and racialised bodies. Together with its audiences, the project aims to consider and problematise the complex ways in which different modes of power are exerted to impact on health, sexual and social reproduction, and bodily autonomy and dignity.

Sick and Desiring is set against our present culture which fetishises notions of health and wellness that are in the service of ever-increasing productivity. On the flipside of this lifestyle phenomenon is the decimation of infrastructures of care in contexts impacted by neoliberal policies and austerity measures. By drawing on activism, histories of radical healthcare and feminist group-work techniques, the contributors nurture practices of self- and collective care, reclaim medical and pharmaceutical knowledges that have become professionalised and monetised, undo the separation between human life and ecology, and demand agency and self-determination.

Sarah Browne, Juliana Cerqueira Leite / Zoë Claire Miller, Feminist Health Care Research Group (Julia Bonn and Inga Zimprich), Joscelyn GardnerPaula Pin / BioTransLab

Sick and Desiring is a curatorial contribution to Bergen Assembly 2019 by Nora Heidorn.

Related program

Friday 6 September at 7.15–8.30pm
Sarah Browne, The Shambles of Science, 2019
Premier screening of new film, followed by a conversation with Sarah Browne, Nora Heidorn and Iris Dressler

Sarah Browne’s new film The Shambles of Science, featuring human and canine protagonists, makes a connection between two historical events: the involvement of Swedish physiology students Lizzie Af Hageby and Leisa Schartau in anti-vivisection protests in London; and the contemporaneous force- feeding of suffragettes held in Holloway prison. Central to the film is the way the bodies of both the dogs and the women were represented in the contemporary press as prone and unspeaking, whether subject to illegal experiments or resisting state-sanctioned ‘care’ in the prison system.

Bergen Assembly 2019, titled Actually, the Dead Are Not Dead, encompasses an exhibition and a series of events taking place at various venues in Bergen. At the centre of the project is a preoccupation with life – with an understanding of life beyond the binary oppositions of life and death, nature and culture, human and animal, subject and object, healthy and sick, past and future. Visit for more information.



Hordaland Art Centre based in Bergen, Norway was established 1976 as the first artist run art centre in Norway. Its activities are based around the exhibition programme with equal emphasis on seminars, presentations and dialogue. Since 1987 Hordaland Art Centre has hosted a Nordic residency programme, from 2008 also open to international artists, curators, writers and other art professionals.