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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ARCHIVE

NATAŠA BERK: 1ST UNLIMITED EDITION

2. 4.–19. 5. 2019

Opening:
2 April, at 7 pm
Švicarija

The exhibition is part of the year-long programme of Švicarija, which in 2019 focuses on the analysis of the state of independent journalism and the right of the public to information in pursuit of the slogan community, art and nature. The participating artists question the credibility of images and their meanings at a time of the oversaturation with visual impulses and analyse the ambiguity of media messages on the world wide web.

The spatial intervention by Nataša Berk and the group of artists at Švicarija presents their diverse visual production, which usually takes place in the virtual space of the world wide web and social networks. On this occasion, it has moved into a physical space. Together, they explore the phenomenology of the image within public circulation and its impact on the perception of reality. In ironic ways, they address the norms of the advertising industry, the tendencies of the mass media, voyeurism and the social convention of the individual’s appearance. Thus, works devoted to the consideration of the nature of the image in everyday life are presented as part of the exhibition. In such a way, photographs, videos and collages open up the questions of understanding visual culture in an era when the public space has become saturated with contents and images, questions about the manipulation of the image and the ambivalence of its meanings.    

Curator: Miha Colner


Photo: Nataša Berk.

ANNOUNCING the 33rd Ljubljana Biennial of Graphic Arts: Crack Up – Crack Down

7. 6.–29. 9. 2019

Curator:
art collective Slavs and Tatars
31 artists on 9 venues in Ljubljana

Crack Up – Crack Down will take an expansive view of the genre of satire today, featuring works by historical and contemporary international artists, as well as interventions by activists, new media polemicists, performances by stand-up comedians, and others. For the 33rd edition of the Biennial, Slavs and Tatars consider ‘the graphic’ not as a medium, but as an agency. They question how graphic language engenders a form of infra-politics via irony and ridicule as a particularly resilient and contemporary form of critique. Purported to speak truth to power, satire has proven itself to be a petri dish in a world of post-truth bacteria

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POVEZUJEM/TIVOLI CREATIVE CIRCLE

The PovezujeM/Tivoli Creative Circle
programme
, which is organised by the museums around Tivoli Park, will take place again during the summer holidays.

Two time-frames are available:
8–12 July and 26–30 August,
from 8 am to 4 pm. 

Further details will be available soon!

You can pre-book your place by writing to: petra.derganc@mglc-lj.si

Part of the circle: National Museum of Slovenia, Museum of Modern Art, National Museum of Contemporary History, National Gallery of Slovenia and International Centre of Graphic Arts.

Photographic Images and Matter: Japanese Prints of the 1970s and Japan, Yugoslavia and the Biennial of Graphic Arts: Documents of Collaboration

22. 3.–19. 5. 2019

GUIDED TOUR OF THE EXHIBITION

Tuesday, April 23, at 5.30 pm
in English
at 5 pm in Slovenian

Admission for the exhibition, the guided tour is free.
Conducted by the co-author of the exhibition Gregor Dražil, Museum Information Officer.

Warmly welcome!


Photo: Urška Boljkovac. MGLC Archive.

The Family fold’r 

Dear families, you are kindly invited to explore the MGLC gallery!
We have again prepared the Family fold’r for you, which you receive free of charge when you purchase a family ticket to view the exhibition.
This time, some curious cards are waiting for you inside, and they need to find their places in the gallery with your help and the help of your children.

Good luck!

Exhibition's symposium
Japan, Yugoslavia and the Biennial of Graphic Arts: Documents of Collaboration

Wednesday, 15 May, 14.30–19.00, 
International Centre of Graphic Arts

Symposium timeline
14:00 Gregor Dražil: An Outline of Collaboration between Japan and Slovenia in the Area of Printmaking
*14:40 Bert Winther-Tamaki: The Wood Aesthetic of the “Creative Prints” Movement of Japan, 1945 to 1965
15:20 Wiktor Komorowski: From Washi to Politics: Printmaking and the Cold War Japonisme
16:00–16:20 Break
16:20 Marjeta Ciglenečki: Forma Viva in Slovenia and Japanese Artists
17:00 Noriaki Sangawa: The Japanese Art Group Ryu and Its Collaboration with the Slovenian Moderna galerija and the Biennial of Graphic Arts

Visiting lecture
*Bert Winther-Tamaki: What Happens to Contemporary Art Made in Japan When Exhibited Outside of Japan?
*The lecture will take place on Monday, 13 May, at 18:00 at the Faculty of Arts, room 343. The lecture is co-organised by the Department of Art History.

The symposium will be held in English.

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Photo: Jaka Babnik. MGLC Archive.

opening:
Friday, March 22, at 6 pm

The exhibition is made up of two sections. The first, bearing the title Photographic Images and Matter: Japanese Prints of the 1970s, is dedicated to Japanese printmaking of the 1970s and was organised by the Japan Foundation, while the second, the documentary section, is entitled Japan, Yugoslavia and the Biennial of Graphic Arts: Documents of Collaboration and has been prepared by the International Centre of Graphic Arts.

The travelling exhibition Photographic Images and Matter, with a selection of the most representative artists, presents the orientations within Japanese printmaking of the 1970s, which was the golden age of the print medium in Japan. The curator of the exhibition Kyoji Takizawa has made an attractive selection of artists, who have received many awards within the international arena and form the core of the modernist and avant-garde scene of the 1970s.

The documentary exhibition Japan, Yugoslavia and the Biennial of Graphic Arts: Documents of Collaboration, on the other hand, illuminates one of the many socio-artistic chapters tied to the history of the Biennial of Graphic Arts in Ljubljana. Through the selection of pictorial, archival, photographic and other material, it aims to show the communication between the geographically and politically disparate countries as part of an ambitious international art event like the Ljubljana Biennial of Graphic Arts. Exhibition authors are Nevenka Šivavec and Gregor Dražil.

The exhibition is accompanied by an international symposium under the same title, taking place in the month of May.

Exhibition design: Ivian Kan Mujezinović and Mina Fina.


Tetsuya Noda: Diary, September 11, '68 (woodcut and silkscreen).