Ljubljana, 23 September–20 November 2011


The art event – the central theme of the 29th Biennial of Graphic Arts in Ljubljana – experienced a remarkable development in the twentieth century and today appears as a privileged medium. It is employed by a broad range of different figures from the world of contemporary visual art in a broad spectrum of forms. At the exhibition, which seeks above all to present as fully as possible the energy and vitality of this trend, a selection of art events is presented in four different categories, based on typical themes in contemporary art: generosity, violence, the search for the sacred and the ritualistic, and emptiness. These themes were selected, among other reasons, because the events that address them also meet the requirement of not being anything novel, either in the iconographic motifs of art or in actual human or social practice. Events that allow us to partake in violence with impunity, in the artist’s “shamanic” violence to himself, in Dionysian or absurdist rituals, or in the creation of an idyllic communitas for the sharing of a common meal – these represent practices that humans have been doing, and even depicting, for millennia.

In the exhibition, as well as in an extensive programme of artistic and theoretical events, the Biennial asks the questions: Why and how has the event in particular become a suitable vehicle for such a great variety of artistic aims, aesthetics, and content? Is the choice of this medium a response to specific impulses and voids in our “desacralized” everyday existence? Also, what are the potential dangers of such a development, given that it is happening more and more in the completely formalized framework of art institutions, which in recent decades not only house and exhibit contemporary art, but also commission and produce it, thus becoming commissioners of contemporary art of a type and scope as only the aristocracy and the church had been before them?

The curator of the 29th Biennial of Graphic Arts is Beti Žerovc.



Unguarded Money (presentation of an action carried out in Budapest in 1956 by Miklós Erdély, his friends, and members of the Hungarian Writers Union), Bababa International, Nina Beier & Marie Lund, Anna Berndtson, Anetta Mona Chişa & Lucia Tkáčová, Dora García, Manuel Hartmann, San Keller, Gregor Kregar, Siniša Labrović, Kim Paton, Praxis (Brainard & Delia Carey), Franc Purg & Sara Heitlinger, Sal Randolph, Maruša Sagadin, Mladen Stropnik, Sz.A.F. (Szájjal és Aggyal Festők Világszövetsége), Matej Andraž Vogrinčič, Anna Witt


Ant Farm, Karmelo Bermejo, Tania Bruguera, Graciela Carnevale, Marco Evaristti, Terry Fox, Núria Güell, Alfredo Jaar, Jaša, Enrique Ježik, Regina José Galindo, Božena Končić Badurina, Liz Magic Laser, Marcello Maloberti, Dalibor Martinis, Kusum Normoyle, Serkan Özkaya, Mark Požlep, Santiago Sierra, Wang Jin, Anna Witt


Oreet Ashery, Jerzy Bereś, János Borsos, Marcus Coates, Brody Condon, Alain Della Negra & Kaori Kinoshita, Shana Moulton, Public Movement, OHO Group / Šempas Family / Milenko Matanović / David Nez / Marko Pogačnik


Robert Barry, Karmelo Bermejo, Conny Blom, Félix González-Torres, Teresa Margolles, Kris Martin, Dane Mitchell, Hans Schabus, Tan Ting, Once Is Nothing (presentation of an exhibition curated by Mária Hlavajová and Charles Esche as part of the 2008 Brussels Biennial)