The Ljubljana Biennial of Graphic Arts Through The Poster

6 August − 3 December 2015

NLB Gallery Avla

opening 6 August 11 a. m.

Nowadays, as we are surrounded by images and messages displayed on various media, the poster, as the oldest form of visual communication, has already been pushed aside. The history of the poster is closely connected with invention and development of print and it flourished with development of industrial and consumerist society. The poster, which conveys cultural and artistic messages, reached its peak at the turn of the 20th century. Today such a poster is more than anything else a collectable and it no longer pursues its basic mission, which is attracting crowds to arts and culture events. Now collections of posters make it possible for us to follow and interpret cultural and historical events.

The Ljubljana Biennial of Graphic Arts is an event that has chosen not to abandon the poster, even though the organiser is fully aware of its value, which is now somewhat cultural and historical rather than communicational. An overview of the Biennial through its posters is at the same time an overview of historical developments, tastes over time, and also the development of local graphic design.

This year it has been 60 years since the 1st international graphic exhibition was organised under the baton of a nine-member Organisation Committee, presided by France Stele. Secretary General at the time was Zoran Kržišnik, who later became its spiritual leader. It is evident from the minutes of the Organisation Committee that they set the framework and structure of the exhibition, criteria and technical rules for the exhibitors and the scope of visual communications to accompany the exhibition. At their second meeting they decided that a bilingual catalogue and poster would come along with the exhibition. Riko Debenjak started working on the poster, and a wood engraving Dance of Kurent, carnival figures from Ptuj, made by France Mihelič, was later selected as its leading graphic. It was printed in 500 copies and a Pablo Picasso’s graphic found its way to the cover of the catalogue due to the set of circumstances at the time. (Picasso's graphics arrived at the exhibition at the last moment, when the catalogue was already placed in the press, so the Committee decided at its 12th meeting to put a reproduction of a Picasso’s graphic on the cover, which was initially supposed to feature a graphic by Miha Maleš.)

From the first to the eighth international graphic arts exhibition, the process of making a poster was based on an invitation sent out to the artists to outline it. Ivan Picelj’s poster for the 5th international exhibition most likely broke with tradition because it was so different from previous posters. It was no longer a reproduction of an artwork laced with typography of letters, but a contemporary graphic design transmitting visual communication about this particular art event. Next year the Committee invited Jože Brumen to participate and the way he saw the visual image of the entire exhibition was so elemental, that he created both the poster and the catalogue cover (by reproducing a Riko Debenjak), and he also made a logotype by building upon the design of the previous Picelj’s posters. Since 1969 the poster and the cover of the catalogue represented a part of the Biennial design, which was practically always based on a concrete graphic arts collection, and after 1975 on a graphic of one of the award-winning artists from the previous Biennial. After 1971 the Biennial posters were therefore based on graphics by Janez Bernik, Adriana Maraž, Tetsuya Noda, Andrej Jemec, Lojze Logar, Dan Allison, Günther Uecker and other. This convention was interrupted by the 24th International Biennial of Graphic Arts in the new millennium, which revived the exhibition by challenging its structure, internal organisation, relations with the local and international public and the performance of the curator, and also by bringing a new promotional approach with new designs and tools unifying the visual identity of this event. Same as the difference in the concept of future Biennials, a constantly changing design by a different designers or a group of designers who were allowed to use visuals as they saw fit has also become its regular feature. Art graphics as the basis for visual communication has disappeared from the poster, replaced by graphic elements composing the visual identity of each upcoming event.

mag. Breda Škrjanec

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PLATEAURESIDUE: Sub Persona

25. 10.–29. 12. 2019

MGLC – Švicarija

 

You are invited to attend the opening of the exhibition by the PLATEAURESIDUE duo (Aljaž Celarc & Eva Pavlič Seifert) on Friday, 25 October 2019, at 19.00, presenting their new Sub Persona research and exhibition project. The exhibition is part of the year-long programme of Švicarija pursuing the motto community, art and nature, which in 2019 focuses on the analysis of the state of independent journalism and the right of the public to information. The artists, whose practice usually interlaces ecology and art, this time examine the state of forest ecosystems and the human impact on them due to past and present forest management. They will present their multimedia installation for the first time, which promotes the development of sensory thinking and questions the contemporary understanding of the environment and man’s attitude towards it.

During the preparations for the project, the artists talked to people who are directly involved in maintaining forests and have differing opinions about how they should be managed and perceived. Forests possess many functions, ranging from ecological, economic to cultural, and provide us all with a quality life on many levels. The present-day urban population often perceives forests as spaces of unspoilt nature even though they have been completely transformed by the centuries of human management. It is precisely the tradition of encroaching upon and exploiting forests that dictates the responsibility of mankind to manage them in a sustainable way, to take care of the consequences of bad practice and to eliminate the effects of climate change. The artists explore how contemporary forest management and forestry approach the goals dictated by the Pro Silva Pan-European sustainable management model, which was developed in 1989, based on the Slovenian tradition of selective felling. The goal of the Pro Silva model is to preserve all key forest functions for future generations: ecosystem, soil and climate protection, production of wood and wood products, recreation and preservation of cultural heritage.

PLATEAURESIDUE is the imaginary identity of geographer and artist Aljaž Celarc and art historian Eva Pavlič Seifert. Their practice is concerned with exploring landscape ecology and uses new media to search for new ways of raising public awareness. Accordingly, they always give a voice to the participants in their projects, natural forms such as rocks, air, organisms and other units of matter, which they reorganise into new unusual forms and new media systems. The artist duo lives and works in Novi Kot, in the hinterland of the forests of Mount Gotenica and Snežnik Plateau.

 

Plateauresidue: Sub Persona, 2019 (video still)

RogLab Open: Active Aging, exhibition of prototypes

Opening: 10 October 2019, at 7 pm

MGLC – Švicarija, Ljubljana

 

The exhibition, at the conclusion of the international project RogLab Open: Active Aging, will feature four award-winning prototypes from the proposals submitted that best addressed the problems of the elderly. The teens who triggered of Beatlemania and the hippies from the Woodstock era are now around seventy years old. RogLab points out precisely to their needs and presents solutions that allow them to live an active and independent life: an intergenerational playground toy by André Vanzolin (Brazil), a hydroponic garden for the physically disabled by Eamon Durey (Northern Ireland), additions for steps by Dušan Uršič (Slovenia) and classically tailored clothing for fashion-conscious seniors, developed by Ina Nathalie Bölsing, Kaja Čufer, Tajda Dražić and Katarina Ekart from the Faculty of Natural Sciences and Engineering under the mentorship of Alenka More (Slovenia). All these prototypes will be on view at Švicarija until 20 October 2019.

The exhibition was produced in collaboration between RogLab (MGML) and MGLC.

The project is supported by the City of Ljubljana.

Part of the partner network of the Center for Creativity, this project is co-financed by the European Union from the European Regional Development Fund and the Republic of Slovenia.

 

Dušan Uršič: additions for steps, prototypes

Marathon Guided Tour: Exhibitions are visited ON FOOT!

Photo: Urška Boljkovac. Archive: MGLC.

On Saturday, 21 September, for European Mobility Week, we have prepared the themed guided tour Exhibitions are visited ON FOOT!, whilst we also host the Biennial Doors Open Day.

You will be taken around the venues of this year's Biennial by Museum Information Officer, Gregor Dražil. The meeting point for the guided tour is in front of MGLC at 11.00, and in front of the National Gallery of Slovenia at 12.30.

The tour will be accompanied by impro interventions in collaboration with Impro liga, therefore get ready for one of the more exciting guided tours so far!

P. S.: Please wear appropriate footwear (our hedgehog has also put on his trainers).