Residency programme: Švicarija

With its residency programme for artists and curators, aims to stimulate the flow of artists and theoreticians in the fields of the graphic arts. The residency programme for artists encompasses work in the Print Studios as well as the integration of artists and theoreticians in the accompanying programmes. Visiting curators will be encouraged to step into a dialogue with the collection and to contextualize the Biennial of Graphic Arts and artistic production in Slovenia.

Residency dates range from one to three months, on the basis of invitations to artists and curators as well as exchanges with similar institutions.

In the year 2017, the International Centre of Graphic Arts received a new unit into its care – the Švicarija – which has been renovated by the Municipality of Ljubljana. Together we form a new cultural, educational and social centre in Tivoli Park.

Švicarija, named the Schweizerhaus, received a ceremonious inauguration, which included a brass band and fireworks, as a wooden guesthouse in 1835. The building was later rebuilt and the surrounding area was arranged by the owner of Tivoli Mansion, Marshal Radetzky. Today, it remains only as a memory in postcards. The name of Švicarija was accepted by the people of Ljubljana to such an extent that it stuck even when in 1909 the famous Austro-Hungarian architect Ciril Metod Koch constructed a new building – Hotel Tivoli, which soon became a gathering place for the bohemians, artists and other like-minded characters of the time. This is also where the workers collected to celebrate Labour Day on 1 May. Until the end of the First World War, the hotel served as a comfortable respite and a place of tasty refreshments for walkers and visitors. After the outbreak of the October Revolution, it was settled by Russian immigrants. At its peak, Švicarija housed a ballet school, which was after its move hired by one of the most important Slovenian sculptors, Ivan Zajec – the author of the Prešeren Monument in Ljubljana. In the early 1950s, many other famous Slovenian artists resided and worked there, until 2012, when the last artist moved out due to the plans for a thorough renovation. The City of Ljubljana has dedicated approximately twenty working-residential studios for Ljubljana based artists in the Švicarija Centre, with some space also intended for foreign artists on visiting residences.

With its rich history, the Švicarija provides exceptional starting points for developing various programmes that bring us closer to the Slovenian natural and cultural heritage from today’s perspective. The Centre’s programme stems from the location and history of the building, since it is inscribed as a space of hospitality, welcome, coexistence, exchange and transformation.

The Švicarija wishes to contribute to the quality of life of individuals and communities with the experience of art. The building connects artists with the city and its inhabitants on various levels through a series of artistic practices, disciplines and perspectives on art, and at the same time also provides a diverse programme for a variety of audiences.

*2019

Critic in Residency Programme 2019 at Švicarija Creative Centre

Artist in Residency Programme 2019 at Švicarija Creative Centre
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*2018

Critic in Residency Programme

Artist in Residency Programme 2018 at Švicarija Creative Centre

 

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The Centenary of the Birth of Zoran Kržišnik

A hundred years have passed since the birth of Zoran Kržišnik, the initiator and longtime director of the Ljubljana Biennial of Graphic Arts and the International Centre of Graphic Arts.

Zoran Kržišnik has left an indelible mark on Slovenian post-war art, especially in the field of printmaking.


The openning of the 17th International Biennial of Graphic Arts, 19 June 1987.
Moderna galerija Ljubljana Archive.

He was born on 26 January 1920 in Žirovnica in the Gorenjska region. After completing his studies in Art History at the Faculty of Arts in Ljubljana, he became the first warden of the Museum of Modern Art in 1947. In 1957, he became director of the Museum of Modern Art and held the position until 1986. Kržišnik was one of the initiators and the longtime director of the International Biennial of Graphic Arts, which functioned under the auspices of the Museum of Modern Art between 1955 and 1986. In 1986, the organisation of the Biennial of Graphic Arts was taken on by the International Centre of Graphic Arts, which was established upon the initiative of Zoran Kržišnik and the Biennial Secretariat, receiving its spaces in Tivoli Mansion. Kržišnik was the director of the International Centre of Graphic Arts from its foundation until his retirement in 2000.

He is the co-founder of the Grupa 69 art group. He is also credited with the globally accepted term of the Ljubljana school of graphic arts. For many years, he was a member of various international juries in reputable institutions, commissions and committees around the world. He also published extensively, wrote numerous pieces on contemporary art and presented Slovenian artists in comprehensive monographs and exhibition catalogues. He made a huge contribution to the promotion of Slovenian and Yugoslav printmaking across the world. He received numerous national and international accolades for his work, including the Valvasor Award, the Silver Honorary Badge of Freedom of the Republic of Slovenia and the French Legion of Honour. Zoran Kržišnik died on 2 July 2008 in Ljubljana. In 2011, a memorial sculpture dedicated to the life and work of Zoran Kržišnik by academy-trained sculptor Matjaž Počivavšek was unveiled in front of the International Centre of Graphic Arts.

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OPEN CALL!, CRITIC IN RESIDENCE PROGRAMME 2020

MGLC Švicarija in collaboration with the Igor Zabel Association for Culture and Theory, both based in Ljubljana, Slovenia, invites art critics or cultural journalists to apply for a fully-funded, one-month residency in Ljubljana in October 2020.

Deadline for applications: 17 February 2020

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Photo: Jaka Babnik. MGLC Arhive.

 

Openning of the exhibition

Helena Tahir, Somewhere Near

Friday, 31 January, at 1 pm, MGLC

The opening will include a guided tour by the artist Helena Tahir and the exhibition curator Božidar Zrinski.


Helena Tahir: Print (4),
from the series In the Whirl
(90 x 65 cm, linocut, 2017).

Helena Tahir represents the youngest generation of artists to deliberately explore the properties of classic printmaking techniques both in terms of form and content, hence actively co-creating the image of contemporary graphic creativity on the Slovenian art scene. The exhibition presents drawings and prints made over the recent years, some of which are here presented to the public for the first time. Helena Tahir’s graphic prints are characterised by the loquacious interweaving of various images stemming from the imagination, brimming with meaningful associations and historical references that must be carefully observed in order to make them easier to understand.