Performative City Excavations

Performative City Excavations

Göteborgs Konsthall

June 8, 2011
Performative City Excavations

16–19 June

16 June, 18 pm, Hotel Scandic Rubinen, Kungsportsavenyn, Göteborg

The Göteborg International Biennial of Contemporary Art starts of by presenting 13 artists that utilize the locality and geography of the city of Göteborg to stage and explore diverse artistic practices in challenging and provocative ways. Between the 16–19 of June, the Performative City Excavations provide an experimental engagement with the city of Göteborg, allowing for site-specific and route-specific discussions, performances, processions and interventions to take place in the public space of the city. The projects presented will involve explorations into various dimensions of Göteborg—the skies, earth surfaces, underground and under water world in order to get a sense of different dimensions of urban life and living in a directly experienced way—knowledge production through body, feelings, emotions, subjectivity and the senses. The data collected by participants and practitioners will be brought together for reflection and mulling over in a summing up workshop at the end of these series of sessions. The aim of the Performative City Excavations are to provoke discussions and conversations that explore the texture of the city of Göteborg, the linkage of communities and the leakage of cultures, objects, information and histories between them—what we might speak of as vital, ‘dirty cosmopolitanism from below.’


Participating artists:


Matthew Buckingham (USA)
Magnus Haglund (SE)
Matts Leiderstam (SE)
The New Beauty Council (SE)
Katarina Nitsch / Patrik Bengtsson (SE)
William Pope.L (USA)
Johannes Samuelsson (SE)
Anna Sandgren (SE)
Société Réaliste (FR)
Mårten Spångberg (SE)
Synneve G. Wettern (NO)
Jana Winderen (NO)


Pandemonium: Art in a Time of Creativity Fever


The exhibition of Göteborg International Biennial for Contemporary Art is heldSeptember 10–November 13, 2011.


In John Milton’s epic Paradise Lost (1671), Pandemonium is the castle built by Lucifer and his band after they had been booted out of heaven. It is the base camp from which they plot against the ‘old order.’ But it is also a platform from which they seek to launch the project of another creation, a new kind of world albeit a ‘devilish’ one. Through ‘Pandemonium,’ Milton reflects on the turbulence and topsy-turvy of civil war England. Was this only chaos and hurly burly? Or was it also the birth of the modern world, of modern values and experience? The term, therefore, has both positive and negative connotations. From William Blake to Derek Jarman, from punk to pop bands and everyday ‘hubbub’ of street sound and speech, it has been used to explore chaos and disorder that is at the same time about the emergence of new worlds, alternative global modernities, other possibilities.


For the Göteborg International Biennial for Contemporary Art, Pandemonium is a Lab, an experiment zone, bubbling with ideas. Wary of ‘paradises lost,’ of utopias that have turned sour or gone of the rails, it sounds today’s turbulent world for new possibilities and perspectives, alternative forms of life and living that are brewing up.


Göteborg International Biennial of Contemporary Art is forged as a process that includes;

1.  Performative City Excavations
2.  Summer Academies
3.  Exhibition
4.  Performative Comments and Critical Response


Curatorial Team


Professor Sarat Maharaj is appointed curator of the 6th edition of Göteborg International Biennial of Contemporary Art. Sarat Maharaj is currently Professor of Visual Arts and Knowledge Systems at the Malmö Art Academy, Lund University. Sarat Maharaj was the co-curator of the 29th São Paulo Biennial in 2010 as well as for the 3rd Guangzhou Triennale in 2008 with the theme of Farewell to Postcolonialism. In 2002 he co-curated Documenta XI in Kassel with Okwui Enwezor. Maharaj is a board member of the European Biennial Manifesta.


Sarat Maharaj works in a curatorial team consisting of curator and artist Dorothee Albrecht, curator Stina Edblom and Professor Gertrud Sandqvist.


Röda Sten Art Center is the host of the biennial that will be held at Röda Sten Art Center, Göteborgs Konsthall, Göteborg Museum of Art and the Art Gallery – Bohusläns’ Museum.


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Göteborgs Konsthall
June 8, 2011

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