September 6, 2017 - Biennial of Graphic Arts Ljubljana - Birth as Criterion
September 6, 2017

Biennial of Graphic Arts Ljubljana

Jelsen Lee Innocent, Pickets of Purpose for The People of Perpetual Protest II and As If Our Bodies Were Built To House Your Bullets, Citizens, 2017. Photo: Jaka Babnik. MGLC Archive. Installation view of the exhibition of the 32nd Biennial of Graphic Arts: Birth as Criterion at Švicarija Creative Centre.

Birth as Criterion
32nd Biennial of Graphic Arts, Ljubljana
June 16–October 29, 2017

Biennial of Graphic Arts Ljubljana
International Centre of Graphic Arts - Tivoli Mansion
Pod turnom 3
1000 Ljubljana
Slovenija

T 01 241 3 800
F 01 241 3 821
info@mglc-lj.si

www.mglc-lj.si
Facebook

Birth as Criterion
32nd Biennial of Graphic Arts, Ljubljana
June 16–October 29, 2017

Biennial of Graphic Arts Ljubljana
International Centre of Graphic Arts - Tivoli Mansion
Pod turnom 3
1000 Ljubljana
Slovenija

T 01 241 3 800
F 01 241 3 821
info@mglc-lj.si

www.mglc-lj.si
Facebook

The Argentine poet Alejandra Pizarnik once wrote that poetry emerges when it "breaks through the wall of poetry." This can be seen almost as a paradigmatic statement behind the 32nd Biennial of Graphic Arts, Ljubljana, which opened on June 16 in venues throughout the city. The Biennial replaced the classic curatorial structure (and its thematic starting points) with a centreless structure surrounding a poem by Slovene poet Jure Detela. The exhibitions came together through a sequence of artists' responses to the spaces and the poem, echoing the organic workings of a rhizome. Poetry in general was a decisive reference point when conceptualising the Biennial, although the exhibitions do not offer the visitor any immediate evidence of this. Instead of the horizon of reading poetry as poetry, poetry as a special attitude to language came to the forefront; a transcendental view of language in the sense of the condition of its possibilities. Applied to the contemporary art system, this dimension of poetry inspired the search for new answers to the question of the conditions of possibility of art today, articulated in the Biennial’s experimental approach to exhibition making.

The ensuing events in the framework of the Biennial therefore further reflect on its structure and the particular notion of poetry that triggered it. A Study Seminar, conceptualized by ŠUM collective, will take place on September 9, presenting a set of lectures devoted to developing certain notions, concepts and contexts relevant to the specific “centreless” structure introduced by this edition of the Biennial and its conspicuous lack of a central unifying curatorial persona. The contributions will explore and expand—from philosophical, literary, (culturally) political, economic, curatorial and other perspectives—on the implications of the Biennial's selection process in rhizomatic, self-organized, collective, self-generated, automated, decentralized and similar structures.

These preoccupations echo the task phrased by Pizarnik as poetry’s "break" through its own impossibility, which in turn opens a space of possibility. The importance of Pizarnik’s work for conceptualizing the Biennial will be reflected in the publication of a bilingual edition of Alejandra Pizarnik's book Night Singer at the end of October. This publication will offer a representative selection of the author’s poetry, the prose piece "The Blood Countess," a selection of interviews, as well as personal notes on her own poetry. The publication will also feature two as-yet-unpublished letters that Alejandra Pizarnik sent to Djuna Barnes, in addition to some of her drawings. These will be accompanied by studies by Miklavž Komelj, Nada Kavčič and Yucef Merhi, who also produced the book cover. Besides drawing, Alejandra Pizarnik dedicated much thought to the boundary between verbal and visual art. She wanted to compose her poems in a painterly, spatial manner—and this is precisely what gives her work a very special connection to the issues and considerations of this year's Biennial.

For all press enquiries please contact Rees & Company:
Rosanna Hawkins, rosanna [​at​] reesandco.com / T +44 (0)20 3137 8776 / M +44 (0)7910 092 634

For further information on the Biennial visit www.mglc-lj.si.

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