THE 33RD BIENNIAL OF GRAPHIC ARTS: CRACK UP – CRACK DOWN

7. 6.–29. 9. 2019

The 33rd Biennial of Graphic Arts was 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 2019 Biennial.

The collective’s extensive editorial output, complex use of visual language and voracious research practice made 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 wanted 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 was the idea of satire as a distinctly visual language, with the ‘graphic’ that marks the history of 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 looked 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.

Find out more about the 33rd Ljubljana Biennial of Graphic Arts on the Biennial’s new website: bienale.si.

 

Honza Zamojski, The Gathering and The Meeting, 2019. Installation view at the 33rd Ljubljana Biennial of Graphic Arts, 2019.
Photo: Jaka Babnik. Archive: MGLC.

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ARCHIVE

Notice of closure of MGLC and Švicarija

The International Centre of Graphic Arts and MGLC Švicarija will be closed to the public in line with the official guidelines of the National Institute of Public Health of the Republic of Slovenia (NIJZ) and the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Slovenia in order to prevent the spreading of coronavirus (Covid-19). This provisional measure is being taken to ensure the health of visitors and museum workers. The forthcoming programme will be adapted to the situation and the recommendations of the NIJZ as they arrive.
You are welcome to drop by on the MGLC social media sites: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!


Photo: Katja Goljat. MGLC Archive.

Menažerija: 37 Days of Christmas

On 1 December, we opened the biggest Art Advent Calendar in Slovenia, which will take us through the December festive period!

The exhibition Menažerija: 37 Days of Christmas will surprise us every day with a new unwrapped piece of art, which will be available to view on the MGLC social networks from 1 to 24 December with just a single click. The unwrapped exhibition with all the works will be on display from 25 December up till 6 January 2021, when the Christmas tree is usually also tidied up at home.


Photo: Matej Tomažin. Menažerija ARCHVS.

MGLC's contribution to This Happy Day of Culture

The first act of the exhibition: the setting up of Invader's sculpture Point of Invasion on the pedestal in front of Tivoli Mansion!

The enigmatic artist Invader surprises us again with his installation in the public space. This time, he speaks to the strollers of Tivoli Park, who are greeted by a new piece on the eminent pedestal, produced especially for the Ljubljana exhibition.

We look forward to the opening of the exhibition as soon as the situation permits. Until then, stay with us on the MGLC social networks!" 

Have a peek at the video!

Invader: Point of Invasion.
Photo: Tadej Vaukman. MGLC Archive.

In the animation The MGLC Noodle 5, Leon Zuodar also brings us closer to his simply conceived but intricate stories, supported by aesthetics and effective narration!

We invite you to come and see his playful works when the situation permits. Until then, we will be keeping you amused in virtual ways together with Leon!

Have a peek at the animation!

UPCOMING EXHIBITIONS

SOON

Three new exhibitions are coming up at MGLC in December:


Invader: Alert, 2020, silkscreen.

Invader: Prints on paper

Leon Zuodar, The Noodle

Menažerija: 37 days of Christmas
1. 12. 2020–6. 1. 2021
On the MGLC social media channels.