The 33rd Biennial of Graphic Arts

7. 6.–29. 9. 2019

The 33rd Biennial of Graphic Arts will be curated by the Slavs and Tatars art collective. It should not be overlooked that the central role of the curator as the selector of the works presented at the 32nd Biennial edition entitled Birth as Criterion acquired a chain mechanism in which the choice was left entirely to artists. As Slavs and Tatars participated in this biennial, Birth as Criterion in a very special way influenced the design of the forthcoming Biennial.

The collective’s extensive editorial output, complex use of visual language and voracious research practice makes them a particularly resonant fit with the history of the Biennial and its contemporary role. Slavs and Tatars is an internationally renowned art collective devoted to an area East of the former Berlin Wall and West of the Great Wall of China known as Eurasia. Since its inception in 2006, the collective has shown a keen grasp of polemical issues in society, clearing new paths for contemporary discourse via a wholly idiosyncratic form of knowledge production, including popular culture, spiritual and esoteric traditions, oral histories, modern myths, as well as scholarly research. The collective’s practice is based on three activities: exhibitions, publications and lecture-performances. Their work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Salt in Istanbul, Vienna Secession, Kunsthalle Zurich and Ujazdowski Centre for Contemporary Art in Warsaw, among others. Slavs and Tatars has published ten books to date, including Wripped Scripped (Hatje Cantz, 2018) on language politics, Friendship of Nations (2nd edition, Book Works, 2017) on the unlikely rapport between Iran and Poland between the 17th and 21st centuries, as well as Molla Nasreddin (currently in its 2nd edition with I.B Tauris, 2017), a translation of the legendary Azerbaijani satirical periodical. Their focus on Eurasia challenges our often times one-dimensional way of seeing relationships between science, religion, power and identity. We saw them in Ljubljana in the Systems and Patterns show in 2012. The exhibition was curated by Nevenka Šivavec, MGLC Director.

For their curatorial début, Slavs and Tatars intend to re-engage with the origins of the Ljubljana Biennial of Graphic Arts. “After a thaw in the idea of medium-specificity over the last 20 odd years, we would like to refocus on ‘the graphic’ today, both in a literal but also strategic sense. In an age of mashed up futures and scrambled pasts, the role of the graphic in public discourses and polemics seems particularly relevant today.”

The focal point of the exhibition of the 33rd Biennial of Graphic Arts will be the idea of satire as a distinctly visual language, with the ‘graphic’ that marks the history the Biennial being understood and questioned in the broad field of the expressive, uninhibited, even lurid. Is each joke, as George Orwell maintained, a tiny revolution? Or does laughter and satire deflate the pressures and tension which could otherwise lead to political upheaval? Slavs and Tatars look to humour as both strategy and content. The visual glut of our times has spawned new aesthetic languages whose messages and discourse we often find distasteful. Though the graphic arts and satire each have their own distinct specifics, they both claim to speak for and to the people.

 

Slavs and Tatars: Molla Nasreddin, 2011. installation view of the exhibition Systems and Patterns, 2012 at MGLC.
Photo: Jaka Babnik. MGLC Archive.

 

We invite you to visit the new website of the 33rd Biennial of Graphic Arts Ljubljana: bienale.si

Enter your e-mail:
ARCHIVE

Drop-in zine workshop with Hamja Ahsan

Saturday, 28 September, 10.00–18.00, DobraVaga

Hamja Ahsan is an artist, activist and curator, who lives and works in London. He is the author of Shy Radicals: Antisystemic Politics of the Militant Introvert and the founder of the DIY Cultures festival of creative activism, fanzines and independent publishing. He is presenting himself at the Biennial with a referendum and inviting visitors to the venues of the Ljubljana Biennial to vote for these zones to join the seceded Aspergistan Federation. He will be conducting a drop-in (fan)zine workshop with visitors over the age of 18, which will reflect the message of the Biennial exhibition.

Advance bookings are appreciated, to be made to petra.derganc@mglc-lj.si.

Free of charge.

Foto: Urška Boljkovac. Archive: MGLC.

WE WISH YOU GOOD MORNING AT MULTIVISION!

As part of the Multivision project (www.multivizija.si), which explores the diversity of identities through multimedia creation, we are organising relaxed morning conversations with interesting dialogue partners to talk about identities, otherness as an experience of social exclusion, and socially engaged creation in response to the social challenges of contemporary society.

We invite you to join us for relaxed morning conversations with three interesting women over tea or coffee at Švicarja in Tivoli, in the inspiring ambience of the Batič Sculpture Studio, from 10.30 to 11.00.

On 7 August 2019, with singer-songwriter, researcher, mentor and publicist Katarina Juvančič, who will take us through the musical creation of stories about women.

On 21 August 2019, with researcher and scientist Mirjam Milharčič Hladnik, PhD, who will introduce us to the concept of assembled identities.

On 4 September 2019, with writer, researcher and scientist Svetlana Slapšak, PhD, who will take us into the interweavings of science and art that talk about women, identities and love.

All welcome!

The event is part of the Multivision: Multimedia, Dance and Theatre Training for Vulnerable Groups project. The project is funded by the European Union from the European Social Fund and the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia. 

The event is organised by the APIS Institute in collaboration with the International Centre of Graphic Arts.

* The conversations will be recorded and subsequently posted on the web and the social networks.

TUESDAY GUIDED TOURS

6. 8.–27. 8. 2019  Multiple venues

Every Tuesday in August a guided tour of the galleries in the city centre will be held, starting at 18.30, meeting point at Equrna Gallery.

Guided tour with reflection on the Biennial

Tuesday, 17 September, 17.00

Guided tour starts at MGLC.

Admission payable, guided tour free of charge.

Photo: Urška Boljkovac. Arhiv: MGLC.