The 31st Biennial of Graphic Arts entitled Over you/you was dedicated to the exploration of the socio-political peculiarities associated with the graphic arts, particularly in relation to reproduction, publicity and community. In line with the tradition of the Biennial, which was first to exhibit works in all printmaking techniques, this edition also included lithography, large format woodcuts, etchings, screenprints, posters and artists’ books. The main exhibition attempted to expand on the concept of the graphic arts beyond established definitions and to accordingly also include, for example, a sculpture floating down the river through the city, street lamps in the park, kinetic machines designed on the basis of historical drawings and experimental school programmes.
The title of the main exhibition Over you/you refers to the unresolved tension between the conflicting identities, but at the same time also indicates the possibility of coexistence. The title, which was understood as a graphic image and as a cautious proposal, reflected our desire to develop a discourse on some of the important characteristics of the graphic arts, such as expansion, repetition and distribution. Particular items and unique narratives were thus represented in the exhibition in much smaller numbers than for instance facsimiles, mirroring procedures, prototypes, imperfect copies and intangible forms.
The main exhibition, curated by Nicola Lees with assistants Stella Bottai and Laura McLean-Ferris, presented the works of artists who use a number of artistic practices and approaches, and included works that were created specifically for the Biennial, older works, exhibition design, examples of re-use and re-contextualisation of materials, expert texts and other artefacts, as well as presentations that diversified the events in the galleries and on the streets of the city.