THE EVENT, The 29th Biennial of Graphic Arts, Ljubljana

30. 9. 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: violence, generosity, emptiness, and the search for the sacred and the ritualistic. 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 in Ljubljana is Beti Žerovc.


Art Events, admission is free, more on

Marathon of Lectures and Discussions on the Event as a Phenomenon, 30 September 2011, at the International Centre of Graphic Arts; admission is free.

International Symposium: The Event as a Privileged Medium in the Contemporary Art World, 4–5 November 2011, at the Museum of Modern Art; admission is free.

Discussions with Artists, Thursdays, 6 October, 13 October and 20 October, 10 November and 17 November, 6 p.m., at the International Centre of Graphic Arts; admission is free.

Public Tours: Sundays, 2 p.m.–6 p.m.: 25 September, 16 October, 13 November, 20 November.

Exhibition of the Grand Prize Winner of the 28th Biennial of Graphic Arts:

Justseeds Artists’ Cooperative
Open: 22 September–20 November 2011, Alkatraz Gallery, Metelkova City, Masarykova ulica 24;
Tuesday – Sunday, 10 am – 6 pm; free admission.

Accompanying exhibitions:

École de Paris
Open: 13 September – 30 September 2011, Lek Gallery, Verovškova ulica 57, Monday – Sunday, 9 am – 7 pm; free admission.

Event 29 Drafts; Designs Made by Visual Communication Students of the Ljubljana Academy of Fine Arts and Design
Open: 18 October – 20 November 2011, International Centre of Graphic Arts, Tuesday – Sunday, 10 am – 6 pm; free admission.


Organizer: Mednarodni grafični likovni center / International Centre of Graphic Arts
Grad Tivoli, Pod turnom 3, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia, tel. + 386 (0)1 2413 800,
Press contact: Lili Šturm: tel. + 386 (0)1 2413 818,
Photo material on

Co-organizers of the 29th Biennial of Graphic Arts:
Cankarjev dom, Culture and Congress Centre Ljubljana; the Alkatraz Gallery; the Museum of Modern Art; the Museum and Galleries of Ljubljana

Main sponsor: Lek d.d., a member of the Sandoz Group