The 34th Ljubljana Biennale of Graphic Arts: Iskra Delta

September 10–November 21, 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.

The tentacle of the future patiently pounds on the glass. Dense hyperpop vapour rises from the heated planet. Reality forks in the glimmers of other possible worlds. If you thought that the Slovenian/Yugoslavian computer company, which many saw as having the potential to become a global technological power, went dark after 1989, you are mistaken. Iskra Delta will deposit the forms that are already emerging in our midst. The future rests with us.

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In the more than 60 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.

Since Iskra Delta is an entity that resides in the present moment, it is also integrated into current Internet culture, inhabiting the world of pre-existing subcultural phenomena: the world of hyperpop, trash, memes, political compass, squatting Slavs, hipsters, doomers and other phantoms of this generation.

It presents a conglomeration of practices from different platforms, collectives and both established and especially younger generations of artists, musicians and writers, whose works span various media and disciplines and, above all, harness the power of fiction and emerging technologies to point to the vectors that are capable of transforming the world we inhabit today.

As a biennale rooted in the local context while maintaining a global perspective, the 34th Ljubljana Biennale of Graphic Arts includes artists from regional territories such as Slovenia, Croatia, Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary, as well as international participants from Germany, United Kingdom and the United States, Middle East and African countries.

The exhibition will sprawl across the historical building of the International Centre of Graphic Arts and spread its tentacles into the surrounding park and two other venues in the city. It will showcase existing and commissioned works, and will be accompanied by an extensive discussion programme that crosses the boundaries between contemporary art, sociology, politics and literature, as well as a publication that functions as both an exhibition catalogue and a reader with essays that expand on the themes of the Biennale.

Curators: 
Tjaša Pogačar, Muanis Sinanović, Nevenka Šivavec

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

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ARCHIVE

You are invited to view the film "Am I a manager? Yes, I am."

Živa Škodlar Vujić, a long-time curator of the Ljubljana Biennial of Graphic Arts, and Mitja Rotovnik, the first director of Cankarjev dom, who professionally and personally followed the efforts of his friend Zoran Kržišnik, shared their views and memories in a short documentary about the international involvement of the Slovenian art scene. Their account takes us through the extremely dynamic period of the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, when Ljubljana became a cosmopolitan cultural centre. These events are illuminated from a cultural and historical perspective by Aleš Gabrič, who talks in the film about, among other things, the development of the managerial mentality in Slovenia and the importance of international cultural events, which distinguish cultural goings-on in Slovenia to this day.

From the MGLC Collection

Jo-ey Tang, The Manual
(Morava Books 14, 2012)
Collection of Art Publications

An FBI manual becomes a book of poetry, together with original microscopic and infrared images. The sculpted text is a meditation of surface and the infinitesimal space above and beneath the surface in the search for evidence.

Jo-ey Tang enacts the circulation and absence of images and objects, as well as the life cycle of ideas. The work takes on various forms of photography, video, sculpture, painting, sound, text and “self-assigned tasks”, spans over many exhibitions and is often seen as both the same and new work, in a constant process of building up and cancelling out. The publication was awarded first prize in the ROOKIE competition (June 2012, www.r-o-o-k-i-e.com), organised by City Gallery Arsenal, Poznań and Morava Publishing House.

The booklet comes in a hardback cover with 64 unpaginated pages and is offset printed in a circulation of 350 copies.

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Milton Glaser, Dylan (1966, offset)
Collection of Art Publications

The story of this poster, which was an insert on Dylan's 1967 album Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits, goes as follows. After suffering serious injuries in a motorcycle accident in 1966, the singer-songwriter Bob Dylan was bedridden and rumoured to be dead. To generate positive publicity for his forthcoming album Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits, CBS Records commissioned Milton Glaser to design a special poster to be included with the album. Glaser depicted the singer in profile, with his abundant curly hair rendered in saturated colours that stand out from the background. The intense, almost psychedelic colours can also be seen as the spirit of the time and the flower power generation from the second half of the 1960s.

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Photo: Jaka Babnik. MGLC Archive.

International Museum Day at MGLC

Tuesday, 18 May, 10.00-21.00
free of charge

You are invited to view and join in the following exhibitions and events!

Invader, Prints on Paper
10.00–18.00
The exhibition is on view at Tivoli Mansion

EVENT
17.00–18.00 
Guided tour of the exhibition: Prints on Paper, conducted by Mitja Velikonja, PhD
To take part in the guided tour, bookings must be made at: trgovina@mglc-lj.si

Sonja Vulpes, Limbo
10.00–18.00
The exhibition is on view at Tivoli Mansion

ONLINE
We have prepared a short film about the artist's creative process.

The Stojan Batič Memorial Studio
10.00–18.00
Permanent display at Švicarija

EVENT
Brane Zorman: The Spirit of the Trees | Touch
20.00
In front of Švicarija

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Photo: Urška Boljkovac. MGLC Archive.