About the biennial

The Ljubljana Biennial of Graphic Arts is one of the oldest biennials in the world. Its emergence in 1955 pinpointed Ljubljana and the visual art of Slovenia on the world map.

The Biennial is highly esteemed by international measure and is recognized as a high-quality event, whereas Slovene art has in turn become well-known outside Slovenia’s borders because of the Biennial. It is the printmakers that most widely represent Slovene art in the museums of the world, something which the Biennial contributed to, as well as inviting artists to major international exhibitions.

During its sixty years of existence, the Biennial has helped to raise the quality of Slovene artmaking. By regularly presenting the works of artists from different cultural backgrounds and artistic environments, it has had an impact on local goings on. It also greatly contributed to the formation of the Ljubljana school of graphic arts and those art pieces that represent the highlights of classic printmaking production. The Biennial took shape during a period when printmaking and its reproductive techniques grasped perfectly the disposition of art and society in general. That was precisely the time when pop art was coming to the fore in Great Britain and in the United States. Post-war capitalism, consumer society and the loose division between so-called high and low culture greatly affected the production of art. Art became an object of consumerism, yet another product on the supermarket shelf, placed next to the cans of soup, where Andy Warhol had put it. In this climate, the Biennial made a head start in becoming one of the world’s renowned art events. As the oldest manifestation of this type, it has also encouraged the emergence of similar types of events around the world.

Between the ends of the seventies and the eighties, the currents in the art world changed. The focus was again placed on the so-called originality of the artist’s hand, which pushed printmaking as a mass production technique into the background, whereas the events of the Ljubljana Biennial of Graphic Arts went through a period of crisis. The nineties re-established art inclined towards printmaking, which held an interest for the attributes of post-industrial society, environmental awareness, political correctness in various scopes and its communicative capacities. And so the International Biennial of Graphic Arts once again gained prominence. After 2001, it also began to make active connections with reproductive techniques other than printmaking, such as photography, film and computer programs. The 24th Biennial in 2001 embarked on the process of revitalization, checking the structure, organization, attitude towards the local and international public, curatorship. The self-reflection and questioning of its role will continue also with the biennials to follow.

 

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The Švicarija: Community, Art and Nature Project

EUROPEAN YEAR OF CULTURAL HERITAGE 2018 AND DAYS OF EUROPEAN CULTURAL HERITAGE

Marathon of lectures on the architectural history, life in Švicarija and its renovation

Friday, 21 September, 17.00–19.00
Sobota, 22 September, 10.00–13.00

The cycle of lectures by conservators and restorers focuses on the architectural history and life in Švicarija. Also presented will be the conservation and restoration starting points for the refurbishment, with an emphasis on the renovation of the wooden architectural elements and stencil murals. The integral renovation of Švicarija took place between August 2015 and May 2017.

Lectures
Friday, September 21

17.00 TATJANA ADAMIČ:
THE ARCHITECTURAL HISTORY IN THE AREA OF TODAY'S ŠVICARIJA
An outline of the captivating history of the architectural activities on the plateau above Tivoli Mansion in Ljubljana's Tivoli Park from the first half of the 19th century to the construction of the Tivoli Hotel between 1908 and 1910.

18.00 ALEKSANDRA RENČELJ ŠKEDELJ:
LIFE IN ŠVICARIJA
Since its beginnings in the middle of the 19th century when a guest house was opened there up till its recent renovation, Švicarija has been a witness to a lively social and artistic life.

Saturday, September 22

10.00 MATEJ ZUPANČIČ:
CONSERVATION STARTING POINTS FOR THE RENOVATION OF ŠVICARIJA
The conservation plan serves as the starting point for a comprehensive renovation of a monument. The structure of the plan as well as the use of the results in the subsequent production of project documentation and the physical restoration of Švicarija will be shown.

11.00 JOŽE DREŠAR:
THE RESTORATION OF WOODEN ARCHITECTURAL ELEMENTS IN ŠVICARIJA
A special challenge in the renovation of Švicarija was to preserve as many original wooden architectural elements as possible from different types of wood for their original use.

12.00 ANKA BATIČ:
THE WALL PAINTINGS IN ŠVICARIJA
Would you like to learn more about sounding, detecting and documenting wall paintings? You are invited to the presentation of the finds that adorned some of the walls in Švicarija.

After the lecture, you can join us at the workshop for making stencil murals and take a piece of Švicarija home with you. 


Švicarija in the interwar period.
Source: SI ZAL LJU 342 Fototeka, G4-027-008.

YOU ARE INVITED TO JOIN US IN THE CHILDREN'S STUDIO IN THE ŠVICARIJA CREATIVE CENTRE!

Creative workshops, animations and guided tours of the building are held for children every Friday. The studio operates free of charge every Friday from May to October, from 10 am to 1 pm. The activities are led by the gallery mentors Petra Derganc, Tina Boc, Petja Kolenko and Katja Kovše.

You may like to book your visit by writing to the following e-mail: petra.derganc@mglc-lj.si.

CALL FOR APPLICATIONS FOR AN ARTIST RESIDENCY IN POUGUES-LES-EAUX

MGLC/Švicarija Creative Centre and the Parc Saint Léger Contemporary Art Centre, Nievers, France, are announcing a public call for applications for an artist residency in Pougues-les Eaux in 2019. Visual and/or intermedia artists who come from Slovenia or live and work in Slovenia are invited to apply. The selected artist will attend a three-month artist residency at the Parc Saint Léger Contemporary Art Centre.

The deadline for applications is
17 September 2018!

Candidates are applying for the time frame of 1 September–30 November 2019

Additional information:
miha.colner@mglc-lj.si or
+386 (0)30 708 469.

Click here for full details of the call for applications!

Theme-based guided tour of the retrospective exhibition by Riko Debenjak and presentation of the exhibition by Alja Košar, Point

Tuesday, 25 September, at 6 pm, admission payable to view the exhibition, guided tour free of charge

The tours of both exhibitions will be conducted by mag. Breda Škrjanec, the curator of the exhibition of Riko Debenjak.

The theme-based guided tours present Riko Debenjak as a person, his creativity, his relationship to printmaking, his place in the time and space of post-war modernism, connection to the Biennial of Graphic Arts and the Ljubljana school of graphic arts. Followed by a presentation of the exhibition by Alja Košar, Point.


Photo: Nejc Ketiš. MGLC Archive.

Alja Košar, Point

12. 9.–14. 10. 2018
opening: Wednesday, September 12, at 7 pm

Alja Košar embarks upon researching the expressive possibilities of intaglio printmaking with technical expertise, patient preparation and precise implementation. She creates a unique pictorial world of her own through the two distinctively pictorial elements of point and line, upgrading this in her more recent works by using paint. Initially, a considered colour palette appeared only in her drawings, but later this was transferred into printmaking through points and lines. The exhibition presents a selection of fine art prints produced in the last two years as well as some graphic works created in the Print Studios of the International Centre of Graphic Arts specifically for this exhibition. Curator of exhibition is Božidar Zrinski.


Alja Košar: Untitled, 2018, aquatint and etching.