Play! Recapturing the Radical Imagination

7 september–17 november 2013

The thematic approach for GIBCA 2013 starts with a desire to investigate and critically reflect on the notions of play and radical imagination, as two important ingredients of the artistic and political discourse.

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.

Edi Muka & Stina Edblom, Artistic Directors