The Ljubljana Biennial of Graphic Arts Through The Poster

6 August − 3 December 2015

NLB Gallery Avla

opening 6 August 11 a. m.

Nowadays, as we are surrounded by images and messages displayed on various media, the poster, as the oldest form of visual communication, has already been pushed aside. The history of the poster is closely connected with invention and development of print and it flourished with development of industrial and consumerist society. The poster, which conveys cultural and artistic messages, reached its peak at the turn of the 20th century. Today such a poster is more than anything else a collectable and it no longer pursues its basic mission, which is attracting crowds to arts and culture events. Now collections of posters make it possible for us to follow and interpret cultural and historical events.

The Ljubljana Biennial of Graphic Arts is an event that has chosen not to abandon the poster, even though the organiser is fully aware of its value, which is now somewhat cultural and historical rather than communicational. An overview of the Biennial through its posters is at the same time an overview of historical developments, tastes over time, and also the development of local graphic design.

This year it has been 60 years since the 1st international graphic exhibition was organised under the baton of a nine-member Organisation Committee, presided by France Stele. Secretary General at the time was Zoran Kržišnik, who later became its spiritual leader. It is evident from the minutes of the Organisation Committee that they set the framework and structure of the exhibition, criteria and technical rules for the exhibitors and the scope of visual communications to accompany the exhibition. At their second meeting they decided that a bilingual catalogue and poster would come along with the exhibition. Riko Debenjak started working on the poster, and a wood engraving Dance of Kurent, carnival figures from Ptuj, made by France Mihelič, was later selected as its leading graphic. It was printed in 500 copies and a Pablo Picasso’s graphic found its way to the cover of the catalogue due to the set of circumstances at the time. (Picasso's graphics arrived at the exhibition at the last moment, when the catalogue was already placed in the press, so the Committee decided at its 12th meeting to put a reproduction of a Picasso’s graphic on the cover, which was initially supposed to feature a graphic by Miha Maleš.)

From the first to the eighth international graphic arts exhibition, the process of making a poster was based on an invitation sent out to the artists to outline it. Ivan Picelj’s poster for the 5th international exhibition most likely broke with tradition because it was so different from previous posters. It was no longer a reproduction of an artwork laced with typography of letters, but a contemporary graphic design transmitting visual communication about this particular art event. Next year the Committee invited Jože Brumen to participate and the way he saw the visual image of the entire exhibition was so elemental, that he created both the poster and the catalogue cover (by reproducing a Riko Debenjak), and he also made a logotype by building upon the design of the previous Picelj’s posters. Since 1969 the poster and the cover of the catalogue represented a part of the Biennial design, which was practically always based on a concrete graphic arts collection, and after 1975 on a graphic of one of the award-winning artists from the previous Biennial. After 1971 the Biennial posters were therefore based on graphics by Janez Bernik, Adriana Maraž, Tetsuya Noda, Andrej Jemec, Lojze Logar, Dan Allison, Günther Uecker and other. This convention was interrupted by the 24th International Biennial of Graphic Arts in the new millennium, which revived the exhibition by challenging its structure, internal organisation, relations with the local and international public and the performance of the curator, and also by bringing a new promotional approach with new designs and tools unifying the visual identity of this event. Same as the difference in the concept of future Biennials, a constantly changing design by a different designers or a group of designers who were allowed to use visuals as they saw fit has also become its regular feature. Art graphics as the basis for visual communication has disappeared from the poster, replaced by graphic elements composing the visual identity of each upcoming event.

mag. Breda Škrjanec

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The Švicarija: Community, Art and Nature Project

TOUCH AND FEEL BOOK ABOUT ŠVICARIJA

Wednesday, 25 April, 11.00–13.00, Švicarija Creative Centre
Lecture and workshop, conducted dr. Aksinja Kermauner

The public lecture with workshop is an introduction to the process of making a touch and feel book about the Švicarija Creative Centre.

To participate in the workshop, which will take place in the second part of the meeting, please book due to limited space by writing to lili.sturm@mglc-lj.si .

How do people with visual impairment see? Who are they? How to provide them with as friendly a life as possible in an environment that is not adapted for them? The lecture and workshop will be an attempt to overcome stereotypes, prejudices, fears ... since the participants, wearing black blindfolds and simulation glasses, will try to touch the world of the blind and the visually impaired, and at the same time experience themselves what could be improved.

Dr. Aksinja Kermauner is writer, poet and teacher, as well as specialist teacher for the blind and visually impaired.


Photo: Urška Boljkovac. MGLC Archive.

 

 

 

David Lynch: Fire on Stage

Guided tour of the exhibition David Lynch, Fire on Stage

Tuesday, 24 April, 18.00, admission payable to see the exhibition

Conducted by the curator of the exhibition, Božidar Zrinski.

Tuesday guided tours of the exhibition

Guided tours in Slovenian and English are part of the programme every Tuesday in May and June at 6 pm, and every Tuesday in July at 7 pm.
The tours are conducted by Museum Information Officer, Gregor Dražil.

Occasionally, the guided tours may be conducted by guest speakers, which can be followed in the programme on the MGLC website: www.mglc-lj.si.

Admission payable to see the exhibition, the guided tour is free of charge.


Photo: Urška Boljkovac. MGLC Archive.

David Lynch: Fire on Stage

11th Cultural Studies Symposium on Truth
Post-reality

Friday, 20 April, 17.00–20.00, Švicarija Creative Centre, admission free

The 11th Cultural Studies Symposium will be held in Ljubljana from 18 to 20 April, this time on the subject of truth, entitled Post-reality, and organised by the Kult.co cultural studies society. You are invited to listen in on the Art and Truth panel on the closing day of the symposium.

•lectures (in Slovenian language) and performances
•participating guests: Maja Burja, Urška Aplinc, Bor Bevc, Vesna Liponik, Bojana Vasića, Marija Glavaš, Teja Tegelj, Bara Kolenc

David Lynch, Fire on Stage

13. 4.–29. 7. 2018

The first presentation of the American film director, scriptwriter, photographer, painter, musician and printmaker David Lynch in Slovenia. The Fire on Stage exhibition offers a selection of seventy fine art graphic prints produced in the lithography technique. The presentation is rounded off by paintings from private collections, watercolours, as well as a selection of experimental and animated films. What all the displayed works have in common is the intertwining of the surrealistic, expressive and grotesque, by which a Lynchian atmosphere is established. This will be followed in the exhibition set-up with a stage-like feel conjured up by set designer Branko Hojnik.


Photo: Urška Boljkovac. MGLC Archive.