"The Print World". The main exhibition at previous Biennials presented selections of graphic art works according to national bases; this year it will offer a curatorial exhibition of contemporary graphic art works covered by Breda Skrjanec, a curator at the International Centre of Graphic Arts and a leading expert in contemporary graphic art production in Slovenia.
The Print World
The main exhibition at previous Biennials presented selections of graphic art works according to national bases; this year it will offer a curatorial exhibition of contemporary graphic art works covered by Breda Skrjanec, a curator at the International Centre of Graphic Arts and a leading expert in contemporary graphic art production in Slovenia.
The exhibition will include works by some forty artists from various parts of the world. The selection will explore the question of the common point between printed art in most diverse expressive forms and mass-circulated images of consumer society at the beginning of the new millennium, or how the technical achievements of the late 20th century, which produced the so-called pixel image, contribute to the shaping of the culture of 'global image'.
The selection will present works that ignore the division in value identifications of graphic art and print. It will not attempt at the original character of graphic art in the sense established by the art market.
The originality will refer to the basic nature of print, i.e. the precise repeatability of visual information which has functioned from the very beginnings as a social, political and, not least important, artistic driving force.
Contemporary art, which has been increasingly stepping into political and social fields, is becoming a means of communication and social activism. Dispersion, multiplication and reproduciability are the values of the 'global culture' image in the new millennium.
Museum of Modern Art and Jacopic Gallery, Ljubljana
The Information-Misinformation exhibition, included in the Off-Biennial section, breaks new ground at the Biennial. This is an exhibition of projects by international contemporary artists, presented outside gallery premises, on billboards and in printed and electronic information media - TV Slovenia, radio Student, Europlakat billboards, and Delo newspaper.
In co-operation with the Vienna museum-in-progress, the projects will also be carried out in Der Standard newspaper, on fifty large digital screens at Vienna underground stations and at fourteen larger railway stations in Poland. This will point to the graphical nature of dispersion, enabled by the precisely reproducible visual image.
The curators of the exhibition, Hans Ulrich Obrist and Gregor Podnar, have selected international artists working in the field of signification and evaluation of social phenomena whose works are part of social criticism against the intolerance and hegemony of social power structures.
This orientation relates to the critical practices of conceptual art in the 1960s and 1970s, hence also the exhibition title, which refers to the famous conceptual art exhibition in 1971 in New York, entitled Information Show (which also included a presentation of the OHO group from Slovenia).
Museum in progress, Ljubljana
Although the Biennial is dedicated to the presentation of current art production in printing techniques, this year one of its four segments will look into the past. The Fundamina exhibition will present works and artists that have decisively influenced the development of art.
The presentation is conceived as a rounded assemblage of three smaller personal exhibitions of works by legendary artists from the recent past: Zoran Music, Andy Warhol, and Mimmo Paladino. It will be installed in the gallery of the International Centre of Graphic Arts.
The selection points to the recognisable portion that Western civilisation has contributed to present-day global culture. It was devised as a presentation of different or, as it were, historically enclosed fine art periods, from the Paris school to the pluralism that took shape after the fall of the Berlin Wall. It covers the period from the end of World War II to the 1990s.
With such a concept, the selection aims to accentuate the importance of individual creative strategies, or poetics, and of their artistic, social and political contexts. Symbolically, it speaks of the co-existence of differences.
Fundamina's concise scroll through recent history begins with graphic works by Zoran Music from the World War II period and the two decades that followed. The prints were made in the classical graphic techniques of lithography or intaglio.
They have been provided for this exhibition courtesy of the Dobrovo Museum collection from the Goriska Brda hills, from the place where the artist was born. The works have been selected by Zoran Krzisnik, a long-standing critical observer of Music's opus and his personal acquaintance, and Bostjan Soklic, a curator at the International Centre of Graphic Arts.
The scroll through the 1960s continues with Andy Warhol, one of the most important artists of the 20th century. This will also be the first exhibition of his works in Slovenia. Mark Francis, Director of fig-1 in London and the Founding Director of the Warhol Museum in Pittsburg, has conceived it as a presentation of Warhol's works that are not frequently exhibited. Presented will be books from the first period of the artist's career, Silver Clouds, and the Blue Velvet musical recordings. The installation will simulate Warhol's exhibitions from the 1960s: the gallery walls will be covered with Warhol's wallpaper.
Mimmo Paladino, an artist of late conceptualism and trans-avant-garde, will end the scroll in the 1990s. The works for the exhibition have been selected by Enzo di Martino, a great connoisseur of Paladino's oeuvre.
The works are presented courtesy of Arte 3 di Alberto Serighelli. The exhibition will present two graphic cycles, entitled Continents and Shields. The round-shaped works are made in mixed media, from etching and drypoint to silkscreen.
In fact, personal and collective memory of Paladino's creativity saturates the entire series of the three exhibitions.
Just like in the beginning of the scroll with the works by Zoran Music, the visitors will also experience intimacy and individuality in the end, although it will differ from that animated by the half-century old works.
Gallery of the International Centre of Graphic Arts, Ljubljana
It is a tradition of the Ljubljana International Biennial of Graphic Arts that it presents the Grand Prize winner of the previous event with a larger personal exhibition at the following Biennial. This year it is the turn of Richard Hamilton, the Grand Prize winner of the 23rd International Biennial of Graphic Arts. The exhibition has been prepared by the British Council.
The artist, who genially combines traditional lore and the latest technologies, is certainly one of the most innovative contemporary British artists. He has played a leading role in the development of contemporary art, starting back in the time of pop art in the late 1950s.
The Ljubljana retrospective exhibition conceived by Stephen Coppel from the British Museum focuses on the theme of Ulysses, a novel by the Irish writer James Joyce.
The exhibition presents a comprehensive creative segment of Hamilton's work dedicated to Joyce. These works on paper differ in terms of procedures and techniques. They show different phases, from initial sketches to final products, study drawings from the late 1940s, drawings, watercolours, etchings and computer graphic works.
Individual exhibited works, such as etchings from the 1980s, represent the peak of the artist's creativity. Hamilton's visualisation of Ulysses, which Hamilton might consider to be the 'book of all books', is an autonomous fine art metaphor that lives its own life independent of its literary source.
Cankarjev Dom Gallery, Ljubljana