16.11.2011 /from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 m.
The Cankarjev dom Culture and Congress Centre, Ljubjlana, Slovenia
Curated by Beti Zerovc
The 29th Biennial of Graphic Arts: VIOLENCE
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?