Röda Sten Konsthall and other venues
Gothenburg, Sweden
9 September – 19 November 2017

Curated by Nav Haq

WheredoIendandyoubegin – On Secularity’ seeks to stimulate public discourse on a subject of contemporary social and political significance: What role should secularity have in society today?

With the participation of over fifty artists, WheredoIendandyoubegin – On Secularity will be a multi-faceted event, comprised of an exhibition of art and historic artefacts, and numerous projects developed in different locations in Gothenburg. Exhibition displays and programmes will be presented at the Röda Sten Konsthall, Göteborg Konsthall and other venues, including Gothenburg City Library, hosting an exhibition of film and video works from the Nordic Region titled We’re saying what you’re thinking, primarily focused on the 1990s. An early-career survey of works by Jens Haaning is presented across several sites in the biennial.

Based on the principle of separation between religious belief (and non-belief) from the state, Western liberal secularity strives to create the conditions that produce and protect four civic cornerstones: political and social equality, minority rights, religious freedom, and the legal separation of private and public domains. Secularity, not to be confused with atheism, has played an essential role in society, creating the conditions for regulating complex and often divisive areas of transaction, including sexual freedom, freedom of religion, gender equality and freedom of expression. Yet in the midst of the geopolitical upheaval that has continued to take place since the beginning of the 21st century, liberal secularity finds itself under acute pressure. Numerous profound questions emerge about the future. What happens to secularity during moments of crisis? How can we sustain freedoms – social, sexual, cultural or religious – in a situation of stark cultural differences? What do we mean by ‘belief’ today? Is it the state that is best positioned for defining secularity? If not, who should? GIBCA 2017 seeks to engage with fundamental questions about Europe, the formalisation of its values, and the fine line between protection and violence.

GIBCA 2017 is curated by Nav Haq, Senior Curator at M HKA – Museum of Contemporary Art Antwerp whose research interests both as a curator and writer lie at the meeting points of culture and politics.

GIBCA collaborates with Platform for Artistic Research in Sweden (PARSE) based at Valand Academy on a special issue of PARSE Journal considering the subject of Secularity. A catalogue documenting the biennial will also be published subsequently.

Röda Sten Konsthall is the organiser of Göteborg International Biennial for Contemporary Art.


Alexander Tovborg; Archivo F.X. in collaboration with Bassam El Baroni and Pedro G. Romero with the participation of Doris Hakim, Yassine Chouati & Equipe Media; Basim Magdy; Dimitri Venkov; Etel Adnan; Fahd Burki; Fatma Bucak; Francesc Ruiz; Haegue Yang; Haseeb Ahmed & Daniel Baird; Hilma af Klint; Jens Haaning; Joakim Forsgren; Jonas Staal; The Kingdoms of Elgaland-Vargaland; Lawrence Abu Hamdan; Måns Wrange; Maddie Leach; Michèle Matyn; Olivia Plender; Public Movement; Riikka Kuoppala; Rose Borthwick; Santiago Mostyn; Saskia Holmkvist, Ellen Nyman & Corina Oprea; Shilpa Gupta; Sille Storihle; and Vector.

We’re saying what you’re thinking – exhibition of moving image

Gothenburg City Library

Catti Brandelius; Cecilia Lundqvist; Claes Söderquist; Dorinel Marc; Elin Magnusson; Ellen Nyman; Eva Linder; Guds söner / Sons of God (Leif Elggren/Kent Tankred); Jannicke Låker; Jesper Nordahl; Johan Tirén; Lene Adler Petersen & Bjørn Nørgaard; Lene Adler Petersen, Bjørn Nørgaard & Henning Christiansen; Loulou Cherinet; and Marko Raat.


Röda Sten Konsthall / Göteborgs Konsthall / Gothenburg City Library / Elite Plaza Hotel / Gamlestaden-Hjällbo / Museum of Gothenburg / Myrorna / Klippan / Chalmers School of Technology / Masthuggskyrkan / Musiclovers Records / Götaplatsen / and other locations in Gothenburg