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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PLATEAURESIDUE: Sub Persona

25. 10.–29. 12. 2019

MGLC – Švicarija

 

You are invited to attend the opening of the exhibition by the PLATEAURESIDUE duo (Aljaž Celarc & Eva Pavlič Seifert) on Friday, 25 October 2019, at 19.00, presenting their new Sub Persona research and exhibition project. The exhibition is part of the year-long programme of Švicarija pursuing the motto community, art and nature, which in 2019 focuses on the analysis of the state of independent journalism and the right of the public to information. The artists, whose practice usually interlaces ecology and art, this time examine the state of forest ecosystems and the human impact on them due to past and present forest management. They will present their multimedia installation for the first time, which promotes the development of sensory thinking and questions the contemporary understanding of the environment and man’s attitude towards it.

During the preparations for the project, the artists talked to people who are directly involved in maintaining forests and have differing opinions about how they should be managed and perceived. Forests possess many functions, ranging from ecological, economic to cultural, and provide us all with a quality life on many levels. The present-day urban population often perceives forests as spaces of unspoilt nature even though they have been completely transformed by the centuries of human management. It is precisely the tradition of encroaching upon and exploiting forests that dictates the responsibility of mankind to manage them in a sustainable way, to take care of the consequences of bad practice and to eliminate the effects of climate change. The artists explore how contemporary forest management and forestry approach the goals dictated by the Pro Silva Pan-European sustainable management model, which was developed in 1989, based on the Slovenian tradition of selective felling. The goal of the Pro Silva model is to preserve all key forest functions for future generations: ecosystem, soil and climate protection, production of wood and wood products, recreation and preservation of cultural heritage.

PLATEAURESIDUE is the imaginary identity of geographer and artist Aljaž Celarc and art historian Eva Pavlič Seifert. Their practice is concerned with exploring landscape ecology and uses new media to search for new ways of raising public awareness. Accordingly, they always give a voice to the participants in their projects, natural forms such as rocks, air, organisms and other units of matter, which they reorganise into new unusual forms and new media systems. The artist duo lives and works in Novi Kot, in the hinterland of the forests of Mount Gotenica and Snežnik Plateau.

 

Plateauresidue: Sub Persona, 2019 (video still)

RogLab Open: Active Aging, exhibition of prototypes

Opening: 10 October 2019, at 7 pm

MGLC – Švicarija, Ljubljana

 

The exhibition, at the conclusion of the international project RogLab Open: Active Aging, will feature four award-winning prototypes from the proposals submitted that best addressed the problems of the elderly. The teens who triggered of Beatlemania and the hippies from the Woodstock era are now around seventy years old. RogLab points out precisely to their needs and presents solutions that allow them to live an active and independent life: an intergenerational playground toy by André Vanzolin (Brazil), a hydroponic garden for the physically disabled by Eamon Durey (Northern Ireland), additions for steps by Dušan Uršič (Slovenia) and classically tailored clothing for fashion-conscious seniors, developed by Ina Nathalie Bölsing, Kaja Čufer, Tajda Dražić and Katarina Ekart from the Faculty of Natural Sciences and Engineering under the mentorship of Alenka More (Slovenia). All these prototypes will be on view at Švicarija until 20 October 2019.

The exhibition was produced in collaboration between RogLab (MGML) and MGLC.

The project is supported by the City of Ljubljana.

Part of the partner network of the Center for Creativity, this project is co-financed by the European Union from the European Regional Development Fund and the Republic of Slovenia.

 

Dušan Uršič: additions for steps, prototypes

Marathon Guided Tour: Exhibitions are visited ON FOOT!

Photo: Urška Boljkovac. Archive: MGLC.

On Saturday, 21 September, for European Mobility Week, we have prepared the themed guided tour Exhibitions are visited ON FOOT!, whilst we also host the Biennial Doors Open Day.

You will be taken around the venues of this year's Biennial by Museum Information Officer, Gregor Dražil. The meeting point for the guided tour is in front of MGLC at 11.00, and in front of the National Gallery of Slovenia at 12.30.

The tour will be accompanied by impro interventions in collaboration with Impro liga, therefore get ready for one of the more exciting guided tours so far!

P. S.: Please wear appropriate footwear (our hedgehog has also put on his trainers).