The 32nd Biennial of Graphic Arts: Birth as Criterion

16. 6.–29. 10. 2017

The 32nd Biennial of Graphic Arts is open until 5 November.

The 32nd edition of the Biennial of Graphic Arts, in collaboration and in co-production with many partners, once again delivers an extensive array of exhibitions and events. The main exhibition entitled Birth as Criterion, which will be on display at MGLC (Tivoli Mansion) and in the newly renovated Švicarija Creative Centre, was this time subjected to an interesting experiment through which the main Biennial exhibition was gradually drawn up in its selection of artists. A simple mechanism was used: the recipients of the Grand Prize of the past five Biennial editions – Jeon Joonho (2007), Justseeds (2009), Regina José Galindo (2011), María Elena González (2013) and Ištvan Išt Huzjan (2015) – were invited to propose one artist to participate in this year's event. These artists were then invited to nominate the next five participating artists. The process consisted of five more rounds and at the end, the 32nd Biennial was supplied by the names of about thirty participating artists. By doing so, the thirty-second Biennial edition sets a transgressive moment for its biennial starting point, aiming to radically transform – not only the content of the event, but also its structure. This is already suggested by its title Birth as Criterion, which alludes to the poem of modernist twentieth century poet Jure Detela – a poem that provided the surge for self-reflection, which the Biennial has subjected itself to. Or in other words, even when the 32nd Biennial of Graphic Arts rejects the framework of a thematic exhibition, it stems from a poem. Yet, this is such that it resists to provide a leading theme to the exhibition, but calls for a break with its radical questioning of all polarity. The break introduced by Jure Detela's poem resonates in the rhizomatic structure of this year's Biennial, which – without the central figure of the curator – instead functions as an entity that produces its own self. By leaving its comfort zone, whether in terms of biennial tradition or established protocols of conceiving contemporary art exhibitions, Birth as Criterion foregrounds a diversity of relationships – a multiplicity that does not possess a single common concept, but instead exists as a continuous flow of meaning, offering a multitude of potential connections and interactions among the artworks.

In addition to the main exhibition Birth as Criterion (MGLC, Švicarija and ŠKUC Gallery), the thirty-second Biennial also presents the traditional exhibition of the winner of the Grand Prize of the previous Biennial, this time Ištvan Išt Huzjan, a presentation of work by Peter Gidal, winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award of the 31st Biennial, a project by the winner of the Audience Award of the 31st Biennial of Graphic Arts, Meta Grgurevič, a Maria Bonomi retrospective at the Jakopič Gallery, as well as a vibrant discursive programme with an international symposium. As far as other projects are concerned, there is also the international billboard project a good neighbour in cooperation with the Istanbul Biennial, the book presenting the work of Argentinean poet Alejandra Pizarnik, as well as the print portfolio of the artists included in the 32nd Biennial of Graphic Arts on display at the Kresija Gallery.


Biennial TOP 10 Guided tours

11. 7. at 19.00: in English and Slovene (in front of Švicarija Creative Centre)
18. 7. at 19.00: in Italian and Slovene (in front of Švicarija Creative Centre)
25. 7. at 19.00: in German and Slovene (in front of Švicarija Creative Centre)
1. 8. at 17.00: in English and Slovene (in front of MGLC)
8. 8. at 17.00: in German and Slovene (in front of MGLC)
15. 8. at 17.00: in Slovene (in front of MGLC)
22. 8. at 17.00: in English and Slovene (in front of MGLC)

Artists of the 32nd Biennial of Graphic Arts

Michelle Andrade / Leo Junsuk Bang / Stephanie Brooks / Erica Ferrari / Riley Harmon / Jarrett Key / Jon Key /
Eric Khoo / Gabriel Kuri / Moon Kyungwon / Jelsen Lee Innocent / Carlos Monroy / Ebecho Muslimova /
Christopher Myers / Asuka Ohsawa / Alejandro Paz / Josse Pyl / Alberto Rodríguez Collía / Gabriel Rodríguez Pellecer / Kaitlynn Redell / Mario Santizo / Jennifer Schmidt / Slavs and Tatars / Johanne Teigen / Nora Turato / Jess X. Snow / Oli Watt

Biennial collective: Irena Borić, Miklavž Komelj, Yasmín Martín Vodopivec, Nevenka Šivavec, Breda Škrjanec, Lili Šturm, Vladimir Vidmar, Asta Vrečko, Božidar Zrinski


THE VOID PRINT PORTFOLIO (16. 6.–6. 7. 2017)

The concept of the print portfolio is based on the Biennial's structure, as the invited artists are the representatives of the five groups that were formed within the rhizomatic structure of the Biennial. The Void questions the conditions and implications of the situation in which artists find themselves upon being asked to invite another artist.

Artists: Jarrett Key, Moon Kyungwon, Ebecho Muslimova, Alberto Rodríguez Collía and Jennifer Schmidt
Curator: Tevž Logar
Venue: Kresija Gallery

Photo: Jaka Babnik. MGLC Archive.

THIS IS NOT A NAME (16. 6.–16. 7. 2017)

THIS IS NOT A NAME is an exhibition that raises questions on how to think about art outside the protocols of contemporary art. It seeks to provide a fresh perspective on the experimental format of this year's Biennial, while at the same time insisting on works that can not be fully captured by any context.

Artists: Anonimus Artist, 1st century AD, Viktor Bernik, Dragica Čadež, Karel Destovnik - Kajuh, Jure Detela, Athanasius Kircher, Marko Pogačnik, Marko Ristić & Koča Popović, Tomaž Šalamun 
Curators: Miklavž Komelj, Yasmín Martín Vodopivec, Nevenka Šivavec and Vladimir Vidmar
Venue: Škuc Gallery

Photo: Jaka Babnik. MGLC Archive.

Exhibitions of award recipients

IŠTVAN IŠT HUZJAN: MEASURES (16. 6.–17. 9. 2017)

The recipient of the Grand Prize of the previous Biennial sets out to consider journeys in the exhibition, where the motif of walking remains a constancy in the artist’s questioning of the social system and relations between individuals. The second part of the exhibition, on the other hand, presents pieces made in the haven of the artist's studio, which are interwoven into the narrative of his recording of reality.

Curator: Alenka Gregorič
Co-production: MGML – Museum and Galleries of Ljubljana, City Art Gallery Ljubljana
Venue: City Art Gallery Ljubljana

Photo: Urška Boljkovac. MGLC Archive.


The recipient of the Audience Award of the 31st Biennial of Graphic Arts presents herself with a project in which sculpture and its movement expand into performance. Through a choreography, the individual parts – gestures, sound and the spoken word – assemble themselves and pass into a state of harmony.

Curator: Michele Drascek
Artistic overview and text: JAŠA
Choreography: Sanja Nešković Peršin
Co-producer: Slovene National Opera and Ballet Theatre
Venue: Švicarija Creative Centre

Photo: Urška Boljkovac. MGLC Archive.

PETER GIDAL: EXHAUSTED MEANING (16. 6.–29. 10. 2017)

The Lifetime Achievement Award of the previous Biennial was given to film director Peter Gidal. The exhibition Exhausted Meaning pays tribute to Gidal’s experimental film practice and documents his several decades-long interest in the work processes that lead to the final appearance of every film.

Films: Room (Double Take), 1967; Upside Down Feature, 1967–1972; Epilogue, 1968; Clouds, 1969; Focus, 1971; Guilt, 1988; Flare Out, 1992; No Night No Day, 1997; Assumption, 1997; Coda 1, 2013; Coda 2, 2013
Curator: Irena Borić
Venue: Švicarija Creative Centre

Photo: Jaka Babnik. MGLC Archive.

Other projects:

Maria Bonomi: PRINTMAKING FOREVER (16. 6.–29. 10. 2017)

The work of Maria Bonomi establishes printmaking as a means of expression, where paper is no longer a physical boundary of a medium, but serves as an endless source for experimentation. She skilfully creates contrasts between the intrepid abstract image in strong colours, and the thin fine rice paper which colours filter through, creating transparent colour veils.

Curators: Barbara Savenc and Breda Škrjanec
Co-producer: MGML – Museum and Galleries of Ljubljana, Jakopič Gallery
Venue: Jakopič Gallery

Photo: Jaka Babnik. MGLC Archive.

Alejandra Pizarnik: NIGHT SINGER

The book Night Singer contains a greater part of Alejandra Pizarnik's poetic oeuvre, the piece of prose entitled The Blood Countess, as well as her statements about her own poetry. The book also includes some previously unpublished material: drawings and a self-presentation, which she wrote in her letters to Djuna Barnes.

Edited by: Miklavž Komelj
Translated by: Nada Kavčič and Miklavž Komelj
Accompanying essays: Nada Kavčič, Miklavž Komelj and Yucef Merhi
Cover: Yucef Merhi


This year's 15th Istanbul Biennial entitled a good neighbour has been presenting its international billboard project with the theme of a good neighbour since February 2017 across many of the world's cities. Now, the project is also being hosted by the Biennial in Ljubljana.

Location: TAM-TAM city billboards

Photo: Jaka Babnik. MGLC Archive.

The jury of the 32nd Biennial of Graphic Arts
Anne Barlow 
Mike Cooter
Bige Örer
Maruša Sagadin

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Searching for Beauty


1. –18. 3. 2018

Opening on Thursday,
1 March, at 1 pm.

Using animation, the artists Michaela Čopíková and Veronika Obertová (working under the name of Ové Pictures have created several interactive installations that focus on the central motif of searching for beauty in new contexts. They make use of historical optical toys such as the zoetrope, flip book and diorama in their projects, transforming them into a more current interactive variation. The exhibition expresses the authors’ understanding of “new beauty”.

Curator: Mária Rišková, Design Centre in Bratislava

The exhibition is being held on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Independence of the Slovak Republic and the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Slovak Republic and the Republic of Slovenia.

The exhibition is organised in cooperation with Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic and Ministry of Culture of the Slovak Republic.

Photo: Urška Boljkovac. MGLC Archive.

The Švicarija: Community, Art and Nature Project

Tivoli Hotel between Memories and Dreams
A sensory approach to learning about cultural heritage

● Workshops take place from March to May.
● introductory sensorial workshop, Saturday 24 March,
10.00–14.00 15.00–19.00
Sunday, 25 March, 
10.00–14.00 15.00–19.00

● Summer Museum Night, 16 June, first public guided tour by the participants of the project
● Advance bookings to: or
● The closin date for application is 15 March

The art education programme includes a sensorial workshop with a final presentation for the public. In the first stage, participants are introduced into the sensory tools of communication and staging. In the second stage, we connect with the cultural heritage of Tivoli Hotel, the so-called Švicarija, which was the gathering place of the Ljubljana bourgeoisie at the beginning of the 20th century. Workshop participants explore and listen to the history of the building through various perspectives of sensory perception. In the final stage of research, visitors are taken through the originally staged snippets of its history.

Concept and implementation: Barbara Pia Jenič, founder of the Senzorium Theatre, author and director.

Photo: Urška Boljkovac. MGLC Archive.

Worskhop for children
The White Chrysanthemum or the Artist in Motion 

● Workshops are held on Saturdays in two parts, from March to May and from September to December.
● The final performance of The White Chrysanthemum is a synthesis of the workshops, Friday, 28 December.

The White Chrysanthemum is a work written by Ivan Cankar during his residence at Švicarija. The controversial essay is still surprisingly topical today. And what message does the author convey to the young people of today? 

The White Chrysanthemum or the Artist in Motion project consists of workshops for the production of movable sculptures (mobiles) lasting several months long, two guided tours of the workshop participants around the Švicarija Creative Centre and the concluding New Year's performance. The workshops connect several artistic disciplines and are based on various dimensions of creating.

●Concept and implementation: Barbara Bulatović, director and puppeteer.
●For children from 8 years of age and over.
●Free of charge.
●Advance bookings to

Spring part: From Image to Form
● Saturdays: 10 and 24 March, 7 and 21 April, 5 May, 10.00–14.00; concluding guided tour, Saturday, 12 May.

Through the creative process, children conceive a character of their own choice from the passages of The White Chrysanthemum. They approach their chosen character in various creative ways (visual, technological, dramaturgical and handcrafted) and produce moving figures that are similar to puppets, yet different.

Autumn part: Storyline in the Space
● Saturdays: 29 September, 13 and 27 October, 10 and 24 November, 10.00–14.00; concluding guided tour, Sunday, 2 December.

At the beginning of the second part, the children prepare a storyline together for The White Chrysanthemum New Year's performance. In the process of working on the interpretation of the character placed in the space, we use the manipulation, animation, dramaturgy and scenographic approach defined in the storyline.

The final performance of The White Chrysanthemum, which represents the synthesis of the year-round workshops, will be put on during the festive time, on Friday, 28 December.

The workshops are part of the Saturday Workshops programme run by RogLab, Stripburger magazine, Trajekt Institute, MGLC and the Švicarija Creative Centre.

Photo: Urška Boljkovac. MGLC Archive.

The Švicarija: Community, Art and Nature Project

Sculpture-making Course
Myths and Fantasy Captured in Sculpture

starting on 19 March
March–May, once a week on Mondays, 17.00–20.00 

The fantastic creatures of Damijan Kracina cruise between art, science and imagination. The notion of the fantastic is also the starting subject of the course. Participants learn about the basic principles of working with clay and produce their own original sculpture, inspired by mythology and fantasy. The course starts with a public lecture.

Conducted by: Damijan Kracina, sculptor and Švicarija Creative Centre studio user.
We accept a maximum of 8 participants.
Participation fee: 180 EUR.
Advance bookings to

Photo: Urška Boljkovac. MGLC Archive.