The Irrational in a Biennial

29. 11. 2018

MGLC Švicarija

International symposium The Irrational in a Biennial; Nevenka Šivavec, MGLC Švicarija, Ljubljana, 2018.

Photo: Urška Boljkovac. MGLC Archive.

The international symposium The Irrational in a Biennial was a deferred examination of the 32nd Biennial of Graphic Arts Birth as Criterion, dealing primarily with the question of the biennial structure and its critique. The starting point was an experiment – the process of selecting artists for the said Biennial, which can be understood as a departure from the academism of the curatorial practices due to the touch of the irrational. The symposium sought to address the problematic nature of the biennial structure while presenting concrete examples of biennials that had managed to go beyond the established methods of selection. The event also served as an announcement of the 33rd Biennial of Graphic Arts Crack Up – Crack Down, curated by the art collective Slavs and Tatars, whose central point was the idea of satire as a distinctly visual language, whereby the “graphic” that marks the history of this event was understood and questioned in a broad field of the expressive, the unbridled, even the shocking.

The international guests spoke about the Biennial as one of the most important phenomena in contemporary global culture and reflected on its changing nature, the networks and connections it creates, and its influence on contemporary art. With contributions by Zasha Colah (Clark House Initiative, Bombay), Ana Dević (WHW – What, How and for Whom collective, Zagreb), Anselm Franke (Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin), Gerardo Mosquera (independent curator and critic, Madrid), Christian Oxenius (freelance curator, author and researcher, Athens), Viktorija Rybakova (artist and architect), Slavs and Tatars (artists, appointed curators of the 33rd Biennial of Graphic Arts), Nevenka Šivavec (director, International Centre of Graphic Arts, Ljubljana), Vladimir Vidmar (curator, ŠKUC Gallery, Ljubljana) and ŠUM (art theory collective, Ljubljana).

Concept: Irena Borić and Nevenka Šivavec.
Coordination: Irena Borić.