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Ljubljana Biennale of Graphic Arts Announces Participant List for 35th Edition

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Sanaz Sohrabi. Specters of the Subterranean (part 1): Rhymes and Songs for the Oil Minister. 2021–ongoing. Close up scan of a full stamp sheet issued to mark the inauguration of the First Arab Petroleum Congress held in Cairo, 1959. Archival material. Image courtesy of Sanaz Sohrabi

The 35th Ljubljana Biennale of Graphic Arts, set to run from 15 September 2023 to 14 January 2024, has announced its participant list and public programme concept.

Artists and collectives from Africa, Europe and beyond, working across print, film, installation and performance, have been invited to present new and site-specific commissions and existing works, alongside historical graphic work from the Biennale archives.

From the Middle East and Arab world, the participants include Nabil Djedouani, Jihan El Tahri, Amina Menia, Mohammad Omar Khalil, Abed Al Kadiri, Sanaz Sohrabi and Ala Younis. See the full list below:

Anita Afonu
Selasi Awusi Sosu
Yasmina Benabderrahmane
Virginia Chihota
Galle Winston Kofi Dawson
Nabil Djedouani
Jihan El Tahri
Beti Frim and Ines Sekač
Christian Guerematchi
Ana Govc
Helga Griffiths
Eric Gyamfi
Sonia Kacem
Soghra Khurasani
Kvadratni meter
Lalitha Lajmi
Pat Mautloa
Amina Menia
Danilo Milovanovic
Yusif Musa
llona Nemeth
Noks Collective
Nonument Group
Henry Obeng
Mohammad Omar Khalil
Krishna Reddy
Abed Al Kadiri
Bruce Onobrakpeya in dialogue with Temitayo Ogunbiyi
Nolan Oswald Denis
Thierry Oussou
Tjaša Rener
Martyna Rzepecka
Jaanus Samma
School of Mutants (Hamedine Kane and Stéphane Verlet Bottéro)
Mori Sikora
Janek Simon and Max Cegielski
Sanaz Sohrabi
Duba Sambolec
Tejswini Narayan Sonawane
Tracy Naa Koshie Thompson
El Warcha in dialogue with PLAC (Participatory Autonomous Zone)
Ala Younis
Lara Žagar
Manca Žitnik

The bienniale is curated by artistic director Ibrahim Mahama in collaboration with Exit Frame Collective, Alicia Knock, Selom Koffi Kudjie, Inga Lāce, Beya Othmani and Patrick Nii Okanta. Entitled From the void came gifts of the cosmos, the show celebrates contemporary art and printmaking as a tool to foster transcultural alliances, with a focus on the histories of friendships and solidarities between post-independence Ghana and the former Yugoslavia.  

Mahama comments: “As curators, From the void came gifts of the cosmos has led us to find ways in which we can go back in time. The exhibition will be presented in multiple forms – historical, contemporary, pedagogical – so we ask, how do we use historical and other forms to establish new dialogues?”

New commissions and existing works

The biennale presents numerous new and site-specific commissions that engage with the relationship between built environments and modern histories of anti-colonial and anti-imperial struggle, nationalism and internationalism. These works include Amina Menia’s In Extensions of Struggle (2023), which explores spontaneous and informal urban formations in Algeria’s capital through an installation and a series of lithographic prints. Nabil Djedouani presents a new commission, There is no End (2023), a fictional investigation of two Algerian figures of the underground international anti-colonial resistance movement.

Existing works on view include La Bête, a modern tale by Yasmina Benabderrahmane (2020), a multimedia installation that narrates two stories that took place during the artist’s return to Morocco after a decade. Sanaz Sohrabi’s Specters of the Subterranean (part 1): Rhymes and Songs for the Oil Minister (2021-ongoing) is a mixed-media installation based on archival material about the Organization of Petroleum Producing Countries (OPEC) and its cultural and political importance for the oil-producing countries of the Global South.

Agyina: Advisory of Sages

The 35th Ljubljana Biennale of Graphic Arts has also revealed details of its public programme concept, Agyina: Advisory of Sages.

Curated by Exit Frame Collective, the programme will consist of a constellation of film screenings, symposia, theatre and dance performances, musical concerts, exhibition tours, workshops (practical and discursive), unannounced exhibitions in the public spaces of Ljubljana and more.