ŠVICARIJA 

The International Centre of Graphic Arts received the Švicarija into its care on 9 May 2017. The renovated building was the venue of the 32nd Biennial of Graphic Arts, and its first users moved into the art studios at the end of last year.

The Švicarija represents an extension of the central institution, both in terms of space and content. With the newly acquired unit, possibilities are being opened up for the International Centre of Graphic Arts to establish new ways of communicating with visitors as well as presenting and interpreting new artistic expressions. Contemporary art, which is at the International Centre of Graphic Arts considered in all its forms that intertwine with the printmaking medium, has with the Švicarija gained new leverage for further intensive development. The presence of artists, whether in the studio, workshops or expert meetings, promotes a direct and two-way flow of knowledge and experience between creators and visitors.

The Švicarija residency programme is closely linked to the location and history of the building, which already held an operative role as a production space in the past decades. Today, it once again provides a temporary studio space to thirteen Slovenian artists (Anja Jerčič, Neža Knez, Damijan Kracina, Silvan Omerzu, Tanja Pak, Silvester Plotajs Sicoe, Marija Mojca Pungerčar, Ana Sluga, Zora Stančič, Martina Štirn, Miha Štrukelj, Veljko Zejak, Plateauresidue), while introducing an international residency programme for which three live-in studios are intended that will host several foreign artists and other arts professionals every year. Various types of residency programmes are planned to this end, lasting from two weeks to six months, while guest residents are selected according to various principles: artists working with MGLC in the concept and implementation of the programme, those selected in an open call, or guests who are part of inter-institutional exchanges.

The vision of the newly acquired unit and its activities is based on an understanding of the specific socio-historical contexts within which Švicarija took on its various roles. Through the historical perspective, it outlines itself as a space of hospitality, welcome, coexistence, exchange and transformation. By thinking of the needs of the present time, the Švicarija continues and develops these ideas and values. It is our wish for a new cultural, educational and social centre in Ljubljana to be born at the crossroads between the International Centre of Graphic Arts and the Švicarija.

 

Photo: Urška Boljkovac, MGLC Archive.

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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.