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

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ARCHIVE

Summer Museum Night at MGLC

Summer Museum Night at MGLC!

Saturday, 15 June, 18.00–24.00

MGLC and Švicarija, Tivoli Park

PROGRAMME:

18.00–21.00: Children’s Studio, workshops for children, Švicarija

21.00–22.00: Guided tour of the 33rd Ljubljana Biennial of Graphic Arts, the tour starts at MGLC; eld by Nevenka Šivavec, Director of MGLC

22.00–22.30: Stand-up performance, Jan Kreuzer, Švicarija

Admission free!

Illustration by Janja Kosi.

Opening of the 33rd Biennial of Graphic Arts

Satire is the main theme of this year’s 33rd Ljubljana Biennial of Graphic Arts organised by the International Centre of Graphic Arts (MGLC). The opening will take place on Friday, 7 June 2019, in Švicarija (Tivoli Park). The selection of participating artists is undersigned by the Slavs and Tatars art collective, while the Biennial that bears the title Crack Up – Crack Down will be on show at nine venues across Ljubljana and will be open till the end of September. The main exhibition will be held in the spaces of MGLC and in the nearby Švicarija. The works of individual artists will be displayed at the National Gallery of Slovenia, National and University Library (NUK), Equrna Gallery, ZVKDS Gallery, ISIS Gallery, DUM Project Space and at the DobraVaga exhibition space. The exhibition of the Grand Prize recipient of the 32nd Biennial of Graphic Arts will be on view at the Plečnik House, where the artist will present his architectural intervention, The Garden of Epicurus.

The Biennial will include artists that come from Slovenia, Poland, Ukraine, Georgia, Bulgaria, China, Iran, Great Britain and the USA, who use their own unique graphic languages as part of a range of diverse practices. They wish to stimulate the emergence of highly resilient and topical forms of criticism or infra-politics through irony and ridicule. Besides the historical part, the exhibition will also present the works of contemporary artists, including the interventions of various activists and new-media polemicists, as well as the performances of stand-up comedians and others.

The exhibition will be enriched by a series of accompanying events and the Crack Up – Crack Down publication that will, in addition to presenting the satirical and graphic practices, include the contributions of well-known experts and academicians, and will introduce the reader to the subject and guide him through it.

PROGRAMME: Opening of The 33rd Ljubljana Biennial of Graphic Arts

You are cordially invited to attend the opening of the 33rd Ljubljana Biennial of Graphic Arts on Friday, 7 June 2019, at 18.00 at Švicarija, Tivoli Park in Ljubljana with the Slon in Sadež duo.

PROGRAMME

18.00
The Biennial will be opened by 
Nevenka Šivavec, Director of MGLC 
Zoran Poznič, Minister of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia
Tjaša Ficko, Deputy Mayor of Ljubljana

Presentation of the Grand Prize of the 33rd Ljubljana Biennial of Graphic Arts. 

19.00
Concert
Being Out of Tune – Favourite Songs of my Neighbours, Abusers and Despots, 2019
Augustin Maurs
Also performing:
Igor Feketija
Leon Firšt
Peter Firšt

20.00
Stand-up comedy:
Boštjan Gorenc aka Pižama (Slovene) Marina Orsag (Croatian)
Dragoș Cristian (English)
hosted by Anja Wutej (Slovene/English)

BIENNIAL OPENING DAYS

Saturday, 8 June


11.00
Saturday breakfast
ZVKDS Gallery
Trg francoske revolucije 3 
Ajdin Bašić in conversation with Branko Đurić - Đuro and presentation of Top lista nadrealista

16.00
Symposium
Moderated by Slavs and Tatars
Švicarija, Tivoli Park

16.00–17.45:
Vid Simoniti: Equality and Cynicism: Satire and Martin Krpan, Top lista nadrealista and Borat
30 min

Mohammad Salemy: Between Three Revolutions: Notes on the History of Iranian Political Satire (1900–1980) in the Age of Social Media
30 min

Arthur Fournier with Raphael Koenig: 
No More Fuchs Left to Give
30 min

18.00–19.30:
Emily Apter: Micropolitics of the Meme. How are we to understand and implement the political vocabulary of a genre of communication native to the 21st century?
30 min

keynote:
Vinca Kruk and Daniel van der Velden/Metahaven:
Sleep Walks The Street
45 min

Sunday, 9 June

11.00
Opening of the exhibition. 
With the Celje String Orchestra.
Plečnik House, Karunova 4–6
Alejandro Paz, The Garden of Epicurus
Recipient of the Grand Prize of the 32nd Ljubljana Biennial of Graphic Arts

Free admission to all events.

PARTICIPATING ARTISTS

Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Hamja Ahsan, Pablo Bronstein, Cevdet Erek, Arthur Fournier & Raphael Koenig, Martine Gutierrez, Flaka Haliti, Stane Jagodič, Zhanna Kadyrova, Dozie Kanu, Sachiko Kazama, KRIWET, Ella Kruglyanskaya, Tala Madani, Augustin Maurs, Marlie Mul, Woody De Othello, Alenka Pirman & KULA, Amanda Ross-Ho, Lin May Saeed, Hinko Smrekar, Top lista nadrealista, Endre Tot, Anna Uddenberg, Martina Vacheva, Nicole Wermers, Giorgi Xaniashvili, XIYADIE, Honza Zamojski 

Dragoș Cristian, Boštjan Gorenc - Pižama, Marina Orsag, Pavlo Voytovich, Anja Wutej

Curators: Slavs and Tatars

EXHIBITION VENUES

The exhibition venues of the 33rd Ljubljana Biennial of Graphic Arts are open from 16.00 to 18.00 on 7 June.

MGLC – International Centre of Graphic Arts 
MGLC – Švicarija 
National Gallery of Slovenia
National and University Library
Equrna Gallery
ZVKDS Gallery
Isis Gallery
DUM Project Space
DobraVaga
Plečnik House

More info: http://bienale.si/en/