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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LET'S EXPLORE MGLC

Would you like to meet Squirlion, our master caretaker, and learn more about what goes on at MGLC?

In the booklet Let's Explore MGLC, Squirlion introduces, explains and comments on our activities, history, park and gallery, graphic arts biennial, gives us a tour of the printing studios, and much more! Otherwise, Squirlion is a mischievous squirrel teen who is really into rap.


Photo: Urška Boljkovac. MGLC Archive.

Authors
Text and editing: Lili Šturm, proofreading: Jure Engelsberger, design: Mina Fina, Ee.

The booklet is free of charge and is aimed at primary school children, teachers, educators and families. You can find it at the Info Point at Tivoli Mansion.

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Announcing the 34th Ljubljana Biennale of Graphic Arts: Iskra Delta

18. 6.–17. 10. 2021

Iskra Delta, a technology conglomerate, has been summoned from the future to present its covert production at the 34th Ljubljana Biennale of Graphic Arts.

In the more than sixty years of its existence, the Ljubljana Biennale that was founded in 1955 in the midst of the Cold War, has tirelessly responded to the ever-changing sociopolitical context while rearticulating its own identity and strategies. From the very beginning, it sought to transcend geopolitical polarities, reflecting Yugoslavia's determination to choose its own path.

The Biennale continues to draw from its history and context, taking a specific local case of technological development and its unrealised potentials as the impetus for its 34th edition. Against a backdrop of social and environmental unrest, deep in the pandemic that has fixed our bodies in place and our eyes on screens, the story of Iskra Delta and the spectres of the "lost futures" that haunt it provide a spark for imagining and constructing possible alternative presents.

Curators:
Tjaša Pogačar, Muanis Sinanović, Nevenka Šivavec

Biennale project group:
Kukla Kešerović, Aljaž Košir,
Tjaša Pogačar, Muanis Sinanović,
Nevenka Šivavec, Andrej Škufca

The doors of Tivoli Mansion and Švicarija remain open!

We invite you to the MGLC gallery to view the exhibitions, Invader Prints on Paper and Leon Zuodar, The Noodle.
In Švicarija, on the other hand, you can enjoy a visit to the Stojan Batič Memorial Studio.

Visit us from Tuesday to Sunday between 10 am and 6 pm.
Tickets can be purchased
untill 5:30 pm.

We are aware that the curent situation only allows for the local population to visit the exhibition and we hope to have some better news about this soon.


Photo: Urška Boljkovac. MGLC Archive.