press release

THE 27th BIENNIAL OF GRAPHIC ARTS brings eight views on art prints, the common thread of these different exhibitions being reproducibility of art. As its specific characteristic, the reproducibility of art, first occurs with the first prints in the Renaissance, becomes a decisive influence on twentieth century art, and is also relevant today. The 27th Biennial of Graphic Arts is comprised of the main Biennial exhibition, the already traditional exhibition of the artist awarded the Grand Prize at the previous Biennial, and six accompanying exhibitions prepared by various galleries in Ljubljana.

Exhibitions of Reproducible Art

The 27th Biennial of Graphic Arts takes as its point of departure, and theme for reflection, that turning point in the history of art when the ease of technical reproduction made reproducibility a new quality in the work of art thus transforming the very concept of art in essential ways. At the same time, it makes reference to the theses of the renowned philosopher Walter Benjamin and their subsequent development in contemporary art theory. The reproducibility of art has changed the way we understand the notions of the copy and the original. It has influenced new meanings of authorship, the roles of the artist and the technician, the link between technology and art, and so on. Reproducibility has led to multiple production, wider accessibility, and an artwork’s ability to be simultaneously present in different situations and socio-political environments. Artists have welcomed reproducibility as something that gives them new and diverse possibilities for expression and content.

Eight exhibitions at the 27th Biennial of Graphic Arts present a variety of art forms, from traditional printmaking to printed matter, video, photography, and computer- and Web-based art.

The Unbound Eyes of Anxiousness The main exhibition of the 27th Biennial of Graphic Arts, 6. 9.–28. 10. 2007

The Ljubljana Biennial of Graphic Arts always understood tradition as a value. Not surprisingly then, a look to the past is also weaved in to this year's main biennial exhibition The Unbound Eyes of Anxiousness. This exhibition presents artists from various generations and stylistic orientations who have, in the past years and decades, marked art and society in Slovenia as well as internationally. The title of the exhibition speaks of the key moment in artistic creation - when a given idea gains a visual form: the creative anxiousness present in the mind of artist thus becomes unbound, freed of »chaos«, and is transformed in to a visible work of art. This is why the exhibition stresses the creative process of art and the figure of the artist as an intellectual. The Gallery of the International Centre of Graphic Arts presents artists of different generations and who uses various creative approaches in their artistic work. Their works speak of personal, social and political themes as well as research in to the language of visual creation itself. In both cases, these works are nonetheless part of a social reality that they also form and comment upon. That part of the main exhibition that takes up public non-gallery and media space is part of a complex public discourse and exists as a message in the media world of communication. Here the participating artists research the economic, political and social structures surrounding them and materialize their findings through the language of art. On the other hand, it is up to the multitude of potential viewers of the thus conceived and displayed works to notice them among all the other available information, and to recognize these works as containing relevant artistic messages. For more than one hundred years the book has been a potential space for visual creativity and representation. Five contributions to The Unbound Eyes of Anxiousness gain exhibition space in the Catalogue of the 27th Biennial of Graphic Arts (it was the 25th Biennial that first saw the catalogue deployed as an exhibition space!). Therefore, the reader/viewer can traverse from the documentary to the creative in just one publication.

As they form one of the „last stops“ of art, private apartments have also been included as actual exhibition spaces of the Biennial. Works of art displayed in these apartments speak not only of collecting and ownership, but also of the personal and intimate relationships individuals have to the works of art that they posses. These works of art take on a life that is different from the life they have when exhibited in public spaces or as part of a predictable museum presentation. Six private apartments in the centre of Ljubljana will present the works of artists from the permanent collection of the International Centre of Graphic Arts.