House of Words (HoW)

House of Words is an architectural, process based artwork by architect Santiago Cirugeda and artist Loulou Cherinet  and a collaborative project between Public Art Agency Sweden and GIBCA.

HoW adheres to GIBCA’s theme by highlighting artists’ works that broaden our interpretation of history and historiography. The biennial will be open from the 12 September-22 November 2015.

What is HoW?

HoW is comprised of three distinct parts:

  • A pavilion – an architectural structure – that is designed by architect and activist Santiago Cirugeda and is built through a collective process with a diverse range of participants.
  • A participatory function – all who visit HoW will be encouraged to interact with and influence the project, based on a concept produced by artist Loulou Cherinet.
  • A participatory program will engage citizens in a dialogue about the city of Gothenburg’s visible and invisible borders.

The concept behind HoW refers to a type of traditional meeting place called “la Casa de la Palabra” which is commonly found in many African societies.

The participatory program’s core will be the exchange of micro-histories – experiences, themes and stories that are usually overlooked in the established historiography. It will build a connection between Gothenburg’s inner city and its outer suburbs, as well as connect Sweden with rest of the world, allowing for a diversity of voices and perspectives to contribute toward a practical history-making.

Elvira Dyangani Ose, Curator for GIBCA 2015:
”With inspiration from anthropologist Michel-Rolph Trouillot’s ideas surrounding ‘unthinkable’ history, GIBCA will explore how different power systems have used oblivion and silence as a political strategy.”

Santiago Cirugeda - architect

Santiago Cirugeda (b.1971), has developed subversive projects with distinct ambitions in urban realities, from the systematic occupation of public spaces in containers to the construction of prostheses in facades, patios, roofs and lots. He negotiates legal and illegal zones, as a reminder of the prvasive control to which we are all subject.

He is now working together with local governments to implement new housing models for the socially disadvantaged. In 2004, he founded the architecture studio Recetas Urbanas. He has also written many articles and taken part in all manner of edcucational and cultural events giving workships, lecture, seminars, and conferences in schools and universities. He has parcipated in solo and group exhibitions worldwide. 


Loulou Cherinet - artist

Loulou Cherinet (b. 1970) was born in Gothenburg. For the past twenty years she has fluctuated between Stockholm and Addis Ababa, both cities where she is lives and works. Cherinet earned her Bachelor in Fine Arts from Addis Abeba School of Fine Art & Design and her Master of Arts from the Royal Institute of Art, Stockholm.

In various ways Cherinet works with large-scale spatial representations of the moving image, creating ways for dialogue, narrative and storytelling. Her film-making connects to a post-documentary tradition in which she uses the film as a tool for examining theses and perceived realities. In her oeuvre Cherinet explores how abstract rhetorical concepts of contemporary politics penetrate our physical and social living, and how language affects our behaviors and environments.

Loulou Cherinet has had a number of solo exhibitions in international affairs and has participated in numerous group exhibitions, such as Manifesta 8 and 7, Momentum, Africa Remix and biennials in Sydney, Sao Paulo and Venice. Her art is represented in the collections at the Modern Museum in Stockholm and Sindika Dokolo, African Collection of Contemporary Art. In August 2015 Cherinet was appointed professor at Konstfack - University College of Arts, Crafts and Design, Stockholm.


For more information about HoW enjoy an extended essay "How to 'Host' History-Making" by Katherine Finerty, GIBCA 2015 Curatorial Assistant.





House of Words (HoW), (2015), Installation view Röda Sten Konsthall, GIBCA 2015. Photo: Hendrik Zeitler;