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 Urška Boljkovac. MGLC Archive | Courtesy of The 32nd Biennial of Graphic Arts.
Urška Boljkovac. MGLC Archive | Courtesy of The 32nd Biennial of Graphic Arts.

Everything You Need to Know About the 32nd Biennial of Graphic Arts in Ljubljana

Picture of Andreja Posedel
Updated: 22 June 2017
The 32nd Biennial of Graphic Arts, Ljubljana’s artistic event of the year, will take place between June 16 and October 29, 2017. Dating back to 1955, The Biennial of Graphic Arts Ljubljana is one of the oldest biennials in the world, and one of the first biennials dedicated to the graphic arts. Since its beginnings, the Biennial was always trying to push the boundaries of the graphic art and is still doing so today, by including different art forms into an event dedicated entirely to graphic art.

From its early days, the Ljubljana Biennial of Graphic Arts has set and embraced new trends and styles in the art world. It is no different this year. Instead of having a curator, organizers decided on a new experimental approach. They have asked five winners from previous Ljubljana Biennials to select five artists of their choice and nominate them to be included in the Biennial. Selected artists were then asked to do the same. They repeated this for five rounds, and at the end, they chose the artists that are participating on this year’s Biennial. By choosing not to work with a curator, the Ljubljana Biennial of Graphic Arts is once again stepping out of the norms and traditions of such events.

Pennants by Oli Watt (2017)
Pennants by Oli Watt (2017) | Courtesy of Oli Watt and The 32nd Biennial of Graphic Arts

This year’s main exhibition, titled Birth as Criterion, refers to the poem by twentieth-century Slovenian poet, Jure Detela. Instead of offering a central theme for the exhibition, this poem offers a loose guideline to which participating artists were asked to respond. By doing that, The Ljubljana Biennial is once again stepping out of the norms and traditions of such events. The Birth as Criterion exhibition will be displayed at the International Centre of Graphic Arts – MGLC and the Švicarija Creative Centre.

As per tradition, exhibitions of winners from the prior Ljubljana Biennial will also be presented. The exhibition, Measures, by Ištvan Išt Huzjan (Grand Prize of the 31st Ljubljana Biennial of Graphic Arts) will be displayed in the City Art Gallery Ljubljana. The Meaning Exhausted exhibition, which pays tribute to Peter Gidal, (Winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award of the 31st Ljubljana Biennial of Graphic Arts ), will be presented at the Švicarija Creative Centre. The performance Silenzio, eternal loopholes and braided lines, by Meta Grgurevič (Winner of the Audience Award of the 31st Ljubljana Biennial of Graphic Arts), will also take place at the Švicarija Creative Centre.

A Man in the Purple Suit by John Key
A Man in the Purple Suit by John Key | Courtesy of John Key and The 32nd Biennial of Graphic Arts

Furthermore, the Ljubljana Biennial will incorporate a retrospective exhibition of printmaker and installation artist Maria Bonomi, presented in the Jakopič Gallery. On the opening day, Leja Jurišić will present a performative installation, The most beautiful moments are the shortest, at the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia. A print portfolio of five Biennial artists, entitled The Void, will be on display at Kresija Gallery. The Night Singer, a major publication of Argentine poet Alejandra Pizarnik, will be launched in Ljubljana during the Biennial. Istanbul Biennial’s good neighbour will also be hosted at Ljubljana Biennial. Škuc Gallery will present This Is Not My Name, an exhibition that raises questions about how to think about art outside the protocols of contemporary art. Visitors will also be invited to attend two Artist Talks events, where artists Carlos Monroy and Alejandro Paz will be included in an informal discussion on the presented art practice.