The 29th Biennial of Graphic Arts: The Event

By Beech, Dave | Art Monthly, December 2011 | Go to article overview

The 29th Biennial of Graphic Arts: The Event


Beech, Dave, Art Monthly


The Ljubljana Biennial of Graphic Arts has run without interruption since i955. Its focus on printmaking allowed its organisers to traffick artworks across political borders with relative ease (Zoran Krzisnik, the founding director of the Biennial, personally smuggled i44 prints from Paris for the inaugural exhibition). In 2001, the year that Krzisnik handed over the organisation of the Biennial, traditional printmaking was supplemented with every kind of reproducible media. The 29th Biennial, curated by Beti Zerovc, takes this to an extreme, selecting only one work that could be categorised technically as a print: Hans Schabus's deleted map of Carinthia, the artist's birthplace, a work originally produced for a fundraising event when the state declined to fund the University Cultural Centre in 2008.

Spread over six sites in the city, the exhibition is divided into four separate themes--generosity, violence, ritual and emptiness--with the overall theme being 'The Event', or 'Dogodek' in Slovenian. The Ljubljana Biennial has been themed before, but this time the themes appear to underline the fact that the curator has not been led by printmaking, not even in its expanded sense. Nevertheless, this exhibition stands to contemporary graphic design in the way that previous Ljubljana Biennials stood to the marketing culture of the i950s and 60s. As graphic design has expanded into television, branding, web design, media strategy and guerrilla advertising, artists have turned to video, performance, spectacle, the archive, tactical media, net art and social intervention. Both graphics and art have become more social, more dematerialised, more participatory and more transactional. 'The Event' attends to this shift in our culture through its themes but also through the technologies and modes of address of the selected artworks.

In this context, Marcus Coates appears like an extreme consumer watchdog presenter, using his expertise to put things right for us. His work is designated as ritual here, but you could make a case for this work to be included in generosity, violence or emptiness. This is true of most of the work. Santiago Sierra's Burial of Ten Workers, a photographic document of a small group of participants digging their own graves on a beach in 20i0, is located within violence, but it depicts a ritual, is ultimately empty (since the workers are not dead) and turns out to be generous (because the burial must be followed--off-camera--by their rebirth). Oreet Ashery's video of the 'performance' of her joining in a strictly all-male annual commemorative dance in Israel is also not easy to contain within one theme. Felix Gonzalez-Torres's light blue candy giveaway piece Untitled (Revenge), 1991, is an act of generosity in response to the violence of AIDS through the ritual of gift giving that ends with the emptying of the gallery. And Alfredo Jaar's The Skoghall Kunsthalle, 2000, a paper gallery built to be torched 24 hours after its official opening, is also generous, violent, ritualistic and concludes with emptiness.

'The Event' stands out from other biennales through the curator's prominent selection of young artists. Janos Borsos, an artist from Hungary, has two works in the show. One is a video of himself explaining the Gospel with three wooden chairs (a pun on Kosuth's One and Three Chairs?). The other is a sign matrix in which the words 'father' and 'son' are laced together with umbilical cords made of laser beams. Karmelo Bermejo, a Basque artist, bought the tickets for every seat on the 7am bus from Bilbao to Madrid and filmed the passengerless journey, poignantly evacuating the route from his hometown to the capital.

Public Movement is a group that devises modernist rituals and avant-garde spectacles that have the appearance of utopian rationality. Nina Beier & Marie Lund display a text piece that accompanies a private view which says 'fifty beautiful people are invited to join the visitors at the opening'. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

The 29th Biennial of Graphic Arts: The Event
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.