The 29th Biennial of Graphic Arts

The Event

23 September−20 November 2011

The art event − the central theme of the 29th Biennial of Graphic Arts in Ljubljana − experienced a remarkable development in the twentieth century and today appears as a privileged medium. It is employed as a medium by a broad range of various figures from the contemporary art world in a broad spectrum of different forms. At the exhibition, which was sought above all to present as fully as possible the energy and vitality of the current trend of art events, a selection of such events will be presented in four different groups based on themes that are typical for contemporary art: violence, generosity, emptiness, and the search for the sacred and ritualistic. These topics were selected, among other reasons, because the events that thematize them also meet the requirement that they are not something new, neither in terms of their artistic iconographic motifs nor in terms of actual human or social practice. Events in which we can with impunity partake in violence, in "shamanistic" violence to oneself, in Dionysian or absurdist ritual, or in the establishment of an idyllic communitas that shares a common meal are, indeed, activities that have been practised and even depicted for millennia.

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Marcello Maloberti, Die Schmetterlinge essen die Bananen, 2010.

Núria Güell, Offside, 2009.

In the exhibition, as well as in an extensive programme of artistic and theoretical events, the Biennial posesed the questions: Why and how has the event become a suitable vehicle for a variety of artistic purposes, poetics, and content? Is the choice of this medium a response to specific impulses and voids in our "desacralized" everyday existence? And also, what are the potential dangers of such a development, given that it is happening more and more in the completely formalized framework of art institutions, which in recent decades not only house and exhibit contemporary art, but also commission and produce it. Thus they have become commissioners of contemporary art of a similar type and scope as were once the aristocracy and the church.

The curator of the 29th Biennial of Graphic Arts was Beti Žerovc.

List of exhibited artists and projects:
Ant Farm, Oreet Ashery, Bababa International, Robert Barry, Nina Beier & Marie Lund, Jerzy Bereś, Karmelo Bermejo, Anna Berndtson, Conny Blom, János Borsos, Tania Bruguera, Graciela Carnevale, Anetta Mona Chişa & Lucia Tkáčová, Marcus Coates, Brody Condon, Alain Della Negra & Kaori Kinoshita, Marco Evaristti, Terry Fox, Dora García, Félix González-Torres, Núria Güell, Manuel Hartmann, Alfredo Jaar, Jaša, Enrique Ježik, Regina José Galindo, San Keller, Daniel Knorr, Božena Končić Badurina, Gregor Kregar, Siniša Labrović, Liz Magic Laser, Marcello Maloberti, Teresa Margolles, Kris Martin, Dalibor Martinis, Dane Mitchell, Shana Moulton, Kusum Normoyle, OHO Group/The Šempas Family/Milenko Matanović/David Nez/Marko Pogačnik, Once is Nothing (Presentation of an exhibition curated by Mária Hlavajová and Charles Esche as part of the 2008 Brussels Biennial), Serkan Özkaya, Kim Paton, Mark Požlep, Praxis (Brainard & Delia Carey), Public Movement, Franc Purg & Sara Heitlinger, Sal Randolph, Maruša Sagadin, Hans Schabus, Santiago Sierra, Mladen Stropnik, Sz.A.F., Tan Ting, Unguarded Money (Presentation of an action carried out in Budapest in 1956 by Miklós Erdély and the Hungarian Writers Union), Matej Andraž Vogrinčič, Wang Jin, Anna Witt.

Kim Paton, The Free Store Project, 2010−2011.
Photo: Erica Sinclair.

Dora García, Steal This Book, 2009−.
Courtesy of CGAC, Santiago de Compostela.

Ant Farm, Media Burn, 1975. 
Photo: Bill Harlan.

 

Arts Events

Mark Požlep, Napalm Your Personal Disco, performance
Thursday, 22 September, 10:00, in front of the Alkatraz Gallery

Marcello Maloberti, Die Schmetterlinge essen die Bananen, performance
Friday, 23 September, 18:30, in front of the Museum of Modern Art

Nina Beier & Marie Lund, The Division, event
50 beautiful people were invited to join the visitors at the opening event.

Božena Končić Badurina, Gathering, performance
Friday, 23 September, 20:30, Museum of Modern Art

Praxis (Brainard & Delia Carey), Performing Miracles, performance
Friday, 23 September, 21:30, in front of the International Centre of Graphic Arts
Bababa International, Repair, workshop
Saturday, 24 September−Sunday, 16 October (except Mondays), 10:00−18:00, exhibition site on Gosposvetska cesta 12

Matej Andraž Vogrinčič, The Biennial Bakery, event
Saturdays and Sundays during the Biennial, 10:00−18:00, International Centre of Graphic Arts

Praxis (Brainard & Delia Carey), The New Economy, performance
Saturday, 24 September−Sunday, 9 October (except Mondays and Tuesdays): Saturdays and Sundays, 10:00−13:00 Wednesday−Friday, 16:00.−18:00, International Centre of Graphic Arts

Franc Purg, Privileged Tactics 1, workshop
Tuesday, 27 September, 16:00−18:00, International Centre of Graphic Arts

Kusum Normoyle, S.I.T.E. (Screaming In The Everyday: Ljubljana), series of performances Friday and Saturday, 7−8 October, on the streets of Ljubljana

Shana Moulton, The Galactic Pot Healer II, performance
Friday, 14 October, 18:00, Gallery of Cankarjev dom

Maruša Sagadin, My Bosses − We Bosses, action
Tuesday−Sunday, 6−23 October, on the streets of Ljubljana

San Keller, San Keller Carries You Up to Art, performance
Friday, 4 November, 16:00.−17:00, Saturday, 5 November, 10:00−17:00, in front of the Museum of Modern Art

Božena Končić Badurina, No Faces, performance
Saturday, 5 and 19 November, 10:00−18:00, Museum of Modern Art

Sal Randolph, 5 Euros Near Something Blue, money action
Tuesday, 15 November, 12:00−15:00, the central market in Ljubljana

János Borsos, Trinity Model, laser installation
Every day during the Biennial, Tuesday−Sunday, 17:30−18:00, Gallery of Cankarjev dom

Mladen Stropnik, RABBIT FUCK, series of performances
October, November, streets of Ljubljana, Tivoli Park

Jaša, a performance in which the artist assumes the character of the priest from the STARDIM project: To Whom It May Concern My Life Is Falling Apart. 

Discussions with Artists 

In a series of discussions, artists are asked about the use of art events in their own practice. The emphasis are on the question of why, and in what way, the event is such an appropriate vehicle for their aims and aesthetics. The discussions is framed in national contexts, or in the context of particular art centres, in an attempt to ascertain the current development and state of the medium of the "art event" in selected regions on the global art map.
Thursday, 6 October, 18:00: Bababa International and Kusum Normoyle (Australia)
Thursday, 13 October, 18:00: Praxis (Brainard & Delia Carey) and Shana Moulton (New York)
Thursday, 20 October, 18:00: Maruša Sagadin and Anna Witt (Vienna)
Thursday, 10 November, 18:00: Mark Požlep, Mladen Stropnik, Matej Andraž Vogrinčič, and Jaša (Slovenia)
Thursday, 17 November, 18:00.: Božena Končić Badurina and Siniša Labrović (Croatia)
At the International Centre of Graphic Arts

Marathon of Lectures and Discussions on the Event as a Phenomenon 

Distinguished representatives from the Slovene media, the state administration, the church, non-government organizations, the business world, the art world, and various scholarly fields attempted to explain the kinds of purposes for which events are used in their fields and what is hoped to be gained by using them. They also reflected on the question of where the, obviously, very extensive phenomenon of the "eventification" of contemporary life might be leading us.
Speakers: Alenka Arko, Tina Bolcar, Marko Brecelj, Miha Burilov, the Eko Krog. Association, Hajrudin Hromadžić, Janez Janša, Zoran Kanduč, Vlado Kotnik, Miha Kozorog, Lenart J. Kučić, Gorazd V. Mrevlje, Vinko Potočnik, Mitja Rotovnik, Andrej Rozman Roza, Božo Rustja, Peter Simonič, Andrej Studen, Jože Vogrinc, and Pavle Vrhovec.

The Marathon began on Friday, 30 September, at 10:00, at the International Centre of Graphic Arts.

Symposium: The Event as a Privileged Medium in the Contemporary Art World 

The symposium were addressed specific "targeted" questions about the ideological significance of the profusion of events in contemporary art institutions. A varied cast of anthropologists, philosophers, historians, and art historians have been invited to participate. Speakers: Luisa Accati, Beatrice von Bismarck, Thomas Fillitz, Dario Gamboni, Werner Hanak-Lettner, Nathalie Heinich, Bojana Kunst, Henrietta Moore, Robert Pfaller, Renata Salecl.

Friday, 4 November, 11:00−19:00
Saturday, 5 November, 10:00−14:30
At the Museum of Modern Art

Public Tours 

Sundays, 14:00−18:00: 25 September, 16 October, 13 November, 20 November
at 14:00: International Centre of Graphic Arts; at 15:00: Museum of Modern Art; at 16:00: Gallery of Cankarjev dom and Jakopič Gallery.

Venues of the 29th Biennial of Graphic Arts

International Centre of Graphic Arts, Museum of Modern Art (Moderna galerija), Jakopič Gallery, Gallery of Cankarjev dom, exhibition sites on Gosposvetska cesta 12 and Vošnjakova ulica 4

Exhibition for the winner of the 28th Biennial of Graphic Arts Justseeds Artists' Cooperative, Refuge, 2011 

Installation, mixed media (screen printing, linoleum and woodblock printing, sculpture)

Justseeds members: Roger Peet, Meredith Stern, Mary Tremonte, Shaun Slifer, Josh MacPhee, Colin Matthes, Dylan Miner, Santiago Armengod, Thea Gahr, Erik Ruin, Bec Young, Pete Yahnke, Kevin Caplicki, Molly Fair, Jesse Purcell www.justseeds.org

Founded in 1998, Chicago, Illinois, as the graphics distribution project of Josh MacPhee, Justseeds became an artists' cooperative based in Portland, Oregon, in 2007. The organization is currently headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA, with members from cities in the United States (Oakland, California; Portland, Oregon; New York City, New York; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Providence, Rhode Island; East Lansing, Michigan; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; and Chicago, Illinois), Mexico (San Cristóbal de las Casas), and Canada (Montreal).

»This work, entitled Refuge, will focus on themes of migration and displacement. We will create an absorbing environment of images and structures bearing on the movement of people, creatures, goods, and ideas within our globalized system of exchange and communication. The heart of the work will be migrations resulting from war or economic necessity, and displacements resulting from exploitation and environmental despoliation: we will dissect a global system built on cheap resources and cheap labour, and illustrate attempts by individuals, societies, ideas, and ecological unions to break out of that system's constraints. We will use graphic and colourful techniques of printing and reiterative layering to create narratives, seeking to parse the goals and motivations of those involved. We want to draw attention to the cracks that exist within an otherwise precisely machined system of regulation and enforcement, and what is able to slip through those cracks. The work will include kiosks distributing maps of the landscapes involved, and hidden within the narratives will be nests, places of refuge, where those in flux, whether humans, animals, or ideas, have taken rest.« (Justseeds for the Catalogue of the 29th Biennial of Graphic Arts)

The curator of the exhibition: Božidar Zrinski


Open: 22 September−20 November 2011, Alkatraz Gallery, Tuesday−Sunday, 10:00−18:00.
Public tours: Wednesdays, 17:00: 5 October, 26 October, 16 November.


Accompanying exhibitions

École de Paris
13 September−30 September 2011, Lek Gallery, Monday–Friday, 9:00−19:00.

The Catalogue of the 29th Biennial of Graphic Arts

The 29th Biennial of Graphic Arts is followed by large illustrated catalogue, in Slovene and English that places the art event as a privileged medium.

Producer: International Centre of Graphic Arts

Co-producers of the 29th Biennial of Graphic Arts:  Cankarjev dom, Galerija Alkatraz, Muzej in galerije mesta Ljubljane, Moderna galerija

Sponsors of the 29th Biennial of Graphic Arts
Main sponsor: Lek
Sponsor: Mercator
Media sponsors: Delo, Mladina, Tam-Tam
Supported by: The Slovenian Tourist Board, Uršič, MIWE, Austrian Culture Forum, British Council, Pro Helvetia, Embajada de Espana, Embajada de México/Embassy of Mexico, Food Technology School of the Biotechnical Educational Centre in Ljubljana

The media sponsor of the 29th Biennial of Graphic Arts is newspaper Delo.
We are inviting you, to experience Delo 24 hours per day, 7 days per week – on print, web and mobile platforms. Join other subscribers of Delo and enjoy the benefits of Premium users.
More on website www.delo.si/premium_uporabnik.

 

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From the Biennial Prize Winners Collection: Shifts in the Canon

Robert Jančovič, Rez I Nazenie-Pasca/, 1996, colour woodcut

 

Exhibition:

From the Biennial Prize Winners Collection: Shifts in the Canon

7 November 2019–23 February 2020

Every review of the history of the Ljubljana Biennial of Graphic Arts is also informed by the stories inscribed by the prize winners of this exhibition. The selection made by the jury members – esteemed and influential art critics, curators, art dealers and other experts from all over the world – was, for many years, the only intervention into the seemingly multitudinous mass of exhibited artworks. The eagerly awaited and often critically-acclaimed decisions imparted the event with a touch of creative competition and were the driving force of the discourse that was generated by the exhibition in the professional and general public as well as the media. After every Biennial, when the hundreds of exhibited prints disappeared from the halls and what remained was only their trace in the form of an exhibition catalogue, a handful of selected works and artists – the winners chosen by the most prominent international jury – were inscribed into the history of the biennial in capital letters, and hence into the annals of worldwide printmaking.

In a sense, the exhibition of works by the prize winners from the collection of the MGLC – International Centre of Graphic Arts aims to get us thinking about the message of the awards of the Ljubljana Biennial of Graphic Arts in the context of the canon of post-war art. Most often, the jury did not validate the Biennial’s basic guidelines regarding the quality of the artworks, nevertheless, their decisions spoke volumes in various other ways. The wavering between the need to consolidate already established directions and discover new, unknown ones can be noticed throughout.

On the other hand, the exhibition offers an insight into the collecting policy of MGLC, an institution based precisely on the heritage of the Biennial. Particularly those works that have been acquired by the museum through purchase and donation in the recent period and works that have not been especially exposed will be on display. They have been arranged chronologically into three main sections from the first exhibition of prints in 1955 to the present.

The shifts in the exhibited works from the first two periods, from 1955 to 1977, and from 1979 to 2001, can primarily be seen in the form and content of the graphic print. The prints demonstrate the emergence and consolidation of new artistic directions in the 1960s and 1970s, especially the distinct aesthetics of art informel, geometric abstraction and pop art. From the pool, not lacking in art celebrities of the older generation, the juries often awarded the most coveted prizes to young artists, the rising stars with highly innovative artistic insights.

The shifts in the printmaking of the late 1970s can also be seen in the award-winning works. With the era of popularity of the more contemporary printmaking techniques having subsided, classical ones, especially intaglio printing, came to the fore again, along with the greater popularity of smaller formats and more intimate subject matter. The award-winning works from the 1980s and 1990s do not bring about any essential artistic innovation, but rather exhibit an interlacement and diversification of established aesthetics and approaches.

With the new millennium, the Biennial experienced some radical shifts and breaks. The display of works in national pavilions was replaced by an original, curatorial approach, which has recently undergone attempts at inquiry and experimentation. At the same time, the range of artwork formats has gradually expanded. A leap from classical printmaking to the art of printing in a diversity of techniques occurred, whereas later the Biennial has also adopted performative as well as other contemporary practices. The two processes have, of course, also impacted the meaning of the prizes and the physical dimensions of the awarded works.

Authors of the exhibition: Nevenka Šivavec, Breda Škrjanec and Gregor Dražil