press release

September 16–November 19, 2023

Göteborg International Biennial for Contemporary Art 2023

The opening program includes performances by Adam Christensen, Joana da Conceição, Niko Hallikainen, Agnė Jokšė, Ania Nowak and Dragana Bar by Kem.

Artists: Sophia Al-Maria, Adam Christensen, Joana da Conceição, Niko Hallikainen, Rodrigo Hernández, Maria Jerez, Agnė Jokšė, Kem, Tarik Kiswanson, Yarema Malaschuk & Roman Khimei, Esse McChesney, Sandra Mujinga, Rasmus Myrup, Ania Nowak, Outi Pieski, Luiz Roque, Prem Sahib, P. Staff, Iris Touliatou, Ana Vaz, Osías Yanov, Yong Xiang Li, and others.

Venues: Gothenburg City Library, Göteborgs Konsthall, Hammarkullen Konsthall, Röda Sten Konsthall


Göteborg International Biennial for Contemporary Art (GIBCA) is delighted to announce the appointment of João Laia as curator of the 12th edition of the project, taking place at art centers and collaborative venues throughout the city of Gothenburg, from September 16–November 19, 2023.

Throughout its editions between 2015 and 2021, the Gothenburg-based biennial invited curatorial proposals engaging with the potential of art to contribute to historical narration, to reflect on the formalization of European values and the stories of nation-states and has highlighted artistic responses to different present crises. The coming edition of the project will celebrate plural narratives for the now and tomorrow, and we look forward to collaborating with João Laia to bring his curatorial research closer to Gothenburg and its coordinates. (Ioana Leca, Artistic Director GIBCA)

Regarding his appointment and the curatorial proposal for GIBCA 2023, Laia writes: “I am thrilled to curate the 12th edition of the Gothenburg Biennial. It is an honour to contribute to the biennial's narrative which has recently highlighted silenced transnational perspectives, addressed monolithic conceptions of society and analysed the current echoes of Gothenburg’s participation in the global circuit of slaved trading. As part of the Biennial’s team, I look forward to presenting an event which examines the now, aiming at queering hegemonic understandings of the social and disseminating alternative narratives to celebrate our collective ability to imagine and rehearse worlds to come.”

Without an Other the category of possibility disappears; the world collapses, reduced to the pure surface of the immediate. (Eduardo Viveiros de Castro, The Relative Native: Essays on Indigenous Conceptual Worlds, 2015).

An initial curatorial outline of the project will be publicly presented in Gothenburg on November 2, 2022.

João Laia is the Chief Curator for exhibitions at Kiasma – Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki. He has a background in social sciences, film theory and contemporary art. Past projects were developed in collaboration with Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin; Galeria Municipal do Porto; La Casa Encendida, Madrid; MAAT – Museum for Art, Architecture and Technology, Lisbon; Moscow Young Art Biennial, MMOMA; Whitechapel Gallery, London; Videobrasil / SESC Pompeia, São Paulo. He edited Living Encounters (Kiasma/Mousse, 2022) and A Multiple Community (SESC, 2018) and has been published in magazines such as Art Monthly, Flash Art, frieze, Mousse, Spike and Terremoto. Together with Valentinas Klimašauskas, Laia curated the 14th Baltic Triennial (2021) titled The Endless Frontier at the CAC – Contemporary Art Centre, Vilnius.

Organizer: Röda Sten Konsthall
Director: Mia Christersdotter Norman
Artistic Director: Ioana Leca
Curator GIBCA 2023: João Laia

The Göteborg International Biennial for Contemporary Art (GIBCA) was founded in 2001. As a platform for the presentation of international contemporary art, the biennial aims to be an important junction between local, national, and international discourse. It seeks to engage in a series of explorations that deal with the complexity of our contemporary world and to present a diversity of artistic positions. With context specificity at the core of the project, each biennial consists of several exhibitions and programme hosted by established art institutions in Gothenburg, by independent initiatives and the physical and digital public realm.

Curators of previous editions (2021–2001): Lisa Rosendahl; Nav Haq; Elvira Dyangani Ose; Katerina Gregos, Claire Tancons, Joanna Warsza and Ragnar Kjartansson in collaboration with Andjeas Ejiksson; Sarat Maharaj with co-curators Gertrud Sandqvist, Dorothee Albrecht, and Stina Edblom; Celia Prado and Johan Pousette; Edi Muka and Joa Ljungberg; Sara Arrhenius; Carl Michael von Hausswolff; Ewa Brodin, Britt Ignell, and Lasse Lindqvist.

Main project funders: City of Gothenburg, Region of West Sweden, The Swedish Arts Council