News & events > Ljubljana | 32nd Biennial of Graphic Arts
16 Jun 2018 - 05 Nov 2018

Ljubljana | 32nd Biennial of Graphic Arts

The 32nd edition of the Biennial of Graphic Arts in Ljubljana, Slovenia runs till 5th November 2018. This international event, organised in collaboration and in co-production with many partners, delivers an extensive array of exhibitions and events.

The Ljubljana Biennial of Graphic Arts is one of the oldest biennials in the world. Its emergence in 1955 pinpointed Ljubljana and the visual art of Slovenia on the world map.

For 2018, the main exhibition entitled Birth as Criterion, on display at MGLC (Tivoli Mansion) and in the newly renovated Švicarija Creative Centre, was subjected to an interesting experiment through which the main Biennial exhibition was gradually drawn up in its selection of artists.

A simple mechanism was used: the recipients of the Grand Prize of the past five Biennial editions – Jeon Joonho (2007), Justseeds (2009), Regina José Galindo (2011), María Elena González (2013) and Ištvan Išt Huzjan (2015) – were invited to propose one artist to participate in this year's event. These artists were then invited to nominate the next five participating artists. The process consisted of five more rounds and at the end, the 32nd Biennial was supplied by the names of about thirty participating artists.

Artists of the 32nd Biennial of Graphic Arts

Michelle Andrade / Leo Junsuk Bang / Stephanie Brooks / Erica Ferrari / Riley Harmon / Jarrett Key / Jon Key / Eric Khoo / Gabriel Kuri / Moon Kyungwon / Jelsen Lee Innocent / Carlos Monroy / Ebecho Muslimova / Christopher Myers / Asuka Ohsawa / Alejandro Paz / Josse Pyl / Alberto Rodríguez Collía / Gabriel Rodríguez Pellecer / Kaitlynn Redell / Mario Santizo / Jennifer Schmidt / Slavs and Tatars / Johanne Teigen / Nora Turato / Jess X. Snow / Oli Watt

By doing so, the thirty-second Biennial edition sets a transgressive moment for its biennial starting point, aiming to radically transform – not only the content of the event, but also its structure. This is already suggested by its title Birth as Criterion, which alludes to the poem of modernist twentieth century poet Jure Detela – a poem that provided the surge for self-reflection, which the Biennial has subjected itself to. Or in other words, even when the 32nd Biennial of Graphic Arts rejects the framework of a thematic exhibition, it stems from a poem. Yet, this is such that it resists to provide a leading theme to the exhibition, but calls for a break with its radical questioning of all polarity. The break introduced by Jure Detela's poem resonates in the rhizomatic structure of this year's Biennial, which – without the central figure of the curator – instead functions as an entity that produces its own self. By leaving its comfort zone, whether in terms of biennial tradition or established protocols of conceiving contemporary art exhibitions, Birth as Criterion foregrounds a diversity of relationships – a multiplicity that does not possess a single common concept, but instead exists as a continuous flow of meaning, offering a multitude of potential connections and interactions among the artworks.

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