The 34th Ljubljana Bienniale of Graphic Arts: Iskra Delta

June 18–October 17, 2021


Iskra Delta, a technology conglomerate, has been summoned from the future to present its covert production at the 34th Ljubljana Biennale of Graphic Arts.

The tentacle of the future patiently pounds on the glass. Dense hyperpop vapour rises from the heated planet. Reality forks in the glimmers of other possible worlds. If you thought that the Slovenian/Yugoslavian computer company, which many saw as having the potential to become a global technological power, went dark after 1989, you are mistaken. Iskra Delta will deposit the forms that are already emerging in our midst. The future rests with us.

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In the more than 60 years of its existence, the Ljubljana Biennale that was founded in 1955 in the midst of the Cold War, has tirelessly responded to the ever-changing sociopolitical context while rearticulating its own identity and strategies. From the very beginning, it sought to transcend geopolitical polarities, reflecting Yugoslavia's determination to choose its own path.

The Biennale continues to draw from its history and context, taking a specific local case of technological development and its unrealised potentials as the impetus for its 34th edition. Against a backdrop of social and environmental unrest, deep in the pandemic that has fixed our bodies in place and our eyes on screens, the story of Iskra Delta and the spectres of the "lost futures" that haunt it provide a spark for imagining and constructing possible alternative presents.

Since Iskra Delta is an entity that resides in the present moment, it is also integrated into current Internet culture, inhabiting the world of pre-existing subcultural phenomena: the world of hyperpop, trash, memes, political compass, squatting Slavs, hipsters, doomers and other phantoms of this generation.

It presents a conglomeration of practices from different platforms, collectives and both established and especially younger generations of artists, musicians and writers, whose works span various media and disciplines and, above all, harness the power of fiction and emerging technologies to point to the vectors that are capable of transforming the world we inhabit today.

As a biennale rooted in the local context while maintaining a global perspective, the 34th Ljubljana Biennale of Graphic Arts includes artists from regional territories such as Slovenia, Croatia, Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary, as well as international participants from Germany, United Kingdom and the United States, Middle East and African countries.

The exhibition will sprawl across the historical building of the International Centre of Graphic Arts and spread its tentacles into the surrounding park and two other venues in the city. It will showcase existing and commissioned works, and will be accompanied by an extensive discussion programme that crosses the boundaries between contemporary art, sociology, politics and literature, as well as a publication that functions as both an exhibition catalogue and a reader with essays that expand on the themes of the Biennale.

Curators: 
Tjaša Pogačar, Muanis Sinanović, Nevenka Šivavec

Biennale project group: 
Kukla Kešerović, Aljaž Košir, Tjaša Pogačar, Muanis Sinanović,
Nevenka Šivavec, Andrej Škufca

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ARCHIVE

From the MGLC Collection

Milton Glaser, Dylan (1966, offset)
Collection of Art Publications

The story of this poster, which was an insert on Dylan's 1967 album Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits, goes as follows. After suffering serious injuries in a motorcycle accident in 1966, the singer-songwriter Bob Dylan was bedridden and rumoured to be dead. To generate positive publicity for his forthcoming album Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits, CBS Records commissioned Milton Glaser to design a special poster to be included with the album. Glaser depicted the singer in profile, with his abundant curly hair rendered in saturated colours that stand out from the background. The intense, almost psychedelic colours can also be seen as the spirit of the time and the flower power generation from the second half of the 1960s.

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Photo: Jaka Babnik. MGLC Archive.

Forward to the Past

"Am I a manager? Yes, I am."

Online event on the MGLC website and on the MGLC Ljubljana Facebook profile

Friday, 26 March, at 12 noon 

Following the recent publication of the book "Am I a manager? Yes, I am.", whose author is Gregor Dražil, MGLC curator, we are preparing an online video presentation highlighting interesting facts from the life and work of art historian and promoter of contemporary Slovenian art Zoran Kržišnik.

You are welcome to take a look!

Forward to the Past is an online campaign of the Slovenian Museum Association, which was taking place between 22 and 28 March.

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Welcome to Tivoli Mansion and Švicarija

On Tuesday, 13 April, Tivoli Mansion and Švicarija will once again open their doors wide. We kindly invite you to visit the exhibitions: Invader, Prints on Paper and Sonja Vulpes, Limbo.

And in Švicarija, you can view the Memorial Studio of the sculptor Stojan Batič.


Photo: Urška Boljkovac. MGLC Archive.