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

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/