by Alain Chivilò
Announcement: The Ljubljana Biennale of Graphic Arts reveals the title of its 35th edition that takes places from 15 September 2023 until 14 January 2024: “From the void came gifts of the cosmos”.
It reflects on the entanglements of built environments, infrastructures and materials with the modern histories of anti-colonial and anti-imperial struggle, nationalism, internationalism, and their contemporary echoes. Examining the ways in which the revolutionary spirit of the post-Afro-Asian independence era permeated built structures, the Biennale explores the ongoing legacy of this ethos. What forms of life inhabit these infrastructures today? How can the Biennale become fertile ground for thinking about future, past and present relationships between the bodies and territories mediated, transformed and/or policed through architectural forms? Can the void created by past political failures serve as the soil for nurturing different relationships based on solidarity, friendship and intimacy? The ecological disposition of this Biennale embraces synthetic, virtual, mechanical, biological, discursive and other contingent forms of artistic determinations.
Joining artistic director of this year’s Biennale Ibrahim Mahama, curators Exit Frame Collective, Alicia Knock, Selom Koffi Kudjie, Inga Lāce, Beya Othmani and Patrick Nii Okanta have been invited to respond to the Biennale’s theme, guided by the chosen title.
The history of the Ljubljana Biennale, founded in 1955 amid the Cold War, mirrors a similar internationalist spirit. From its inception, it has invited participants from the Non-Aligned partner countries in Africa and Asia, in addition to artists from the Soviet Union and the West with a special emphasis on the former. Thus, the Biennale’s archive serves as a journal revealing traces of other important gatherings and workshops in printmaking, and other mediums such as film. The forthcoming edition of the Ljubljana Biennale of Graphic Arts will attempt to look back at how visual culture created spaces of potentiality, transcending borders and enabling networks of Southern solidarities.
by Alain Chivilò