PLAY! Recapturing The Radical Imagination
7 September–17 November 2013
Opening: Saturday, 7 September, 11h
Göteborg International Biennial for Contemporary Art
Röda Sten Konsthall
Röda Sten 1
414 51 Göteborg, Sweden
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 12–17h, Wednesday 12–19h
While playfulness seems to have permeated artistic strategies during the last century, radical imagination has provided a space for encounter and a frame for thought and action in today’s political struggles. However, the role and understanding of either notion and of the seamless relation between them has undergone many changes, reflecting the new condi- tions of our time and giving rise to a number of questions, such as: What is the transformative power of play? How do forms of playfulness affect or help manifestations of radical imagination? What does indeed constitute radical imagination? Does democracy still have a meaning? Do we dare to challenge the very way we live and imagine a different world?
The history and the current status of the playful blend of artistic actions and innumerable social and activist movements provide a fertile ground for such investigation. At the same time, related research and abounding experiments with curatorial models and strategies that has characterized the last decades constitute an important critical effort to rethink the institutional frame for cultural and artistic production. But with the radical restructuring of the world imposed by the neoliberal agenda, imagination has become the battle field.
With Play! Recapturing the Radical Imagination, and through the individual contributions of its four curators, Katerina Gregos, Claire Tancons, Joanna Warsza and Ragnar Kjartansson in collaboration with Andjeas Ejiksson, we hope to offer a variety of curatorial perspectives and artistic strategies. By weaving themselves together, these perspectives will constitute GIBCA as an open and dynamic meeting point for creative playfulness, social experiment, forms of activism, fiction and philosophical deliberation.
Artists:Nabil Boutros (b. 1954, Egypt), Sonia Boyce (b. 1962, UK), Tania Bruguera (b. 1968, Cuba), Spartacus Chetwynd (b. 1973, UK), Luc Deleu (b. 1944, Belgium), Åke Edwardson (b. 1953, Sweden), Ninar Esber (b. 1971, Lebanon), Forensic Architecture & Füsun Türetken (b. 1972, Turkey; UK 2011–2014), Parastou Forouhar (b. 1962, Iran), Jorge Galindo & Santiago Sierra (b. 1966 / 1965, Spain), Andreas Gedin (b. 1958, Sweden), Guerrilla Girls (est. 1985, USA), Núria Güell (b. 1981, Spain), Maja Hammarén (b. 1978, Sweden), Nicoline van Harskamp (b. 1975, The Netherlands), Johan Heintz (b. 1953, Sweden), Jean-Louis Huhta (b. 1965, Sweden), William Hunt (b. 1977, UK), Eunhye Hwang (b. 1978, Korea), Katarzyna Krakowiak (b. 1980, Poland), Nevan Lahart (b. 1973, Ireland), Tala Madani (b. 1981, Iran), Jill Magid (b. 1973, USA), Mapa Teatro (est. 1984, Colombia), Marion von Osten (b. 1963, Germany), Deimantas Narkevičius (b. 1964, Lithuania), The New Beauty Council & MYCKET in collaboration with Maja Gunn (est. 2008/2011, Sweden), Otobong Nkanga (b. 1974, Nigeria), Nanna Nordström (b. 1982, Sweden), Pavel Pepperstein (b. 1966, Russia), Psychic Warfare (2010, Sweden) , Roberto N Peyre (b. 1971, Sweden), Roberto Paci Dalò (b. 1962, Italy), Karol Radziszewski (b. 1980, Poland), Fernando Sanchez Castillos (b. 1970, Spain), Carolee Schneemann (b. 1949, USA), Marinella Senatore (b. 1977, Italy), Margrét Helga Sesseljudóttir (b. 1988, Iceland), Liv Strömquist (b. 1978, Sweden), Sunshine Socialist Cinema (Kalle Brolin & Kristina Müntzing, est. 2011, Sweden), Olav Westphalen (b. 1963, Germany), Wooloo (Martin Rosengaard & Sixten Kai Nielsen, est. 2002, Denmark), Per Zennström & Lennart Sjöberg (b. 1961, Sweden/b. 1961, Sweden), Qiu Zhijie (b. 1969, China), Markus Öhrn (b. 1972, Sweden)
Röda Sten Konsthall; Göteborgs Konsthall and Hasselblad Center as well as Götaplatsen, Esperantoplatsen, Kungsport Avenyn, the port of Göteborg, and Nefertiti Jazz Club; Lilla Bomen/Gullbergskaj; Stora Teatern
The thematic approach for GIBCA 2013 formulated by the artistic directors Edi Muka and Stina Edblom stems from the desire to investigate and critically reflect upon the notions of play and the radical imagination as two important ingredients of the artistic and political discourse.
The Biennial is conceived around various episodes curated respectively by Katerina Gregos, Claire Tancons, Joanna Warsza and Ragnar Kjartansson in collaboration with Andjeas Ejiksson.
Katerina Gregos‘s exhibition The Politics of Play at Röda Sten Konsthall explores the relationship of art and politics by way of the radical imagination and the agency of play through the work of artists who eschew banality, didacticism, political correctness, and the literalistic re-presentation of reality and instead harness fantasy, poetry, provocation, subversive humor, theatricality, disguise, and transformative leaps of the imagination to talk about current critical political issues.
Claire Tancons‘s exhibition and performance project AnarKrew: An Anti-Archives – Göteborg Carnival on Record takes the archives of the forgotten Göteborg Carnival (1982–1993) as a starting point and the so-called Göteborg Riots (2001) as a temporary closure. AnarKrew sets out on an undocumented journey into Göteborg’s counterculture and its wider ramifications across Northern Europe. The exhibition takes place at Göteborgs Konsthall and Hasselblad Center and the performance program at Götaplatsen, Esperantoplatsen, Kungsport Avenyn and Nefertiti Jazz Club. A special issue of Glänta journal will also be published as part of the project.
Joanna Warsza’s exhibition Art and Crime – Legally on the Edge: A Forensic Exhibition in the Backwaters of Göteborg focuses on contemporary artists’ interest in crime at large, in its performative and narrative aspects, as well as its legal and political status. It explores the roles of artists as detectives, researchers, storytellers, but also as social advocates and activists, investigating the sphere of the illegal, the grey zones and the loopholes of the law, and the resulting potential political or activist uses. The exhibition is set in downtown Göteborg, leading from the Lilla Bommen pier to the city backwaters along the so-called “Quay of Broken Dreams.”
The intense two-day show Weight, curated by artists Ragnar Kjartansson and Andjeas Ejiksson at Stora Teatern, rests on the carnal and the physical existence. It is an effort to gain a sense of weight: the weight of the boundaries of existence and of a building and its history. Carolee Schneemann and her exploration of the politics of desire, sexuality and gender through the body is an important inspiration why experimental expressions and liberation stands in the centre of the show.
September 6: Preview opening
The biennial starts with a performance program down Kungsportavenyn, Göteborg’s central avenue, and continues into the night with additional performances, live music and DJ sets at the legendary Nefertiti Jazz Club. The program is curated by Claire Tancons as part of AnarKrew.
September 7: Public opening
The official inauguration is held at Röda Sten Konsthall at 11am and continues with a rich program of exhibitions and performances at all other venues. The day ends with a public opening party at Stora Teatern´s main stage.
September 8: Leisure, Discipline and Punishment opening
On September 8 GIBCA will inaugurate the opening of the collaborative project Leisure, Discipline and Punishment, featuring works by Keren Cyter, Petra Bauer, Peter Wachler, Dario Solman, and Louis Herve and Chloe Maillet, produced in collaboration with Contour Biennial (Mechelen), Liverpool Biennial and Ljubljana Biennial of Graphic Arts.
GIBCA 2013 is accompanied by a book published by Art & Theory Publishing with essays by Franco Berardi, Lars Bang Larsen and GIBCA’s artistic directors and curators, as well as a short guide to the exhibition. Between the 2nd and 4th of September, a program featuring artist’s talks and panel discussions is presented in collaboration with Valand Academy – University of Gothenburg.