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The thirtieth edition of the Biennial will be an occasion for some serious self-reflection. Together with experts from the fields of art history, political history, sociology and cultural studies the organizers will focus on the position of society, the effects and impact of the Biennial within the local as well as international context. It will offer an insight into the global biennialisation of the art system.

Petja Grafenauer. Photo: Citizensofculture.net

Curator of the central exhibition is Deborah Cullen, whereas two solo shows will highlight the works of two award winning artists, Hungarian conceptual artist, Miklós Erdély (1928–1986, winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 29th Biennial) and Guatemalan Regina José Galindo (1974, Grand Prix winner of the 29th Biennial of Graphic Arts).

The historical part of the Biennial will be presented in an accompanying exhibition in the gallery of Cankarjev dom, which is being curated by Petja Grafenauer. It will show its interdependence with the official cultural policy and the effects of the political Non-Aligned Movement in the field of art and culture in the former Yugoslavia. It will highlight the institutional crises of the Biennial during the1980s and 1990s, and the various attempts at its repositioning due to changed geopolitical circumstances.

Curators:

Deborah Cullen is director and chief curator of the Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery at Columbia University in New York. In 2012, she was chief curator of the triennial El Panal/The Hive: 3ra Trienal Poligráfica de San Juan: América Latina y el Caribe in Puerto Rico. Before that, she was director of curatorial programmes at El Museo del Barrio in New York, where she edited the extensive 500-page anthology Caribbean: Art at the Crossroads of the World (El Museo del Barrio and Yale University Press, 2012). Among her major exhibitions are Nexus New York: Latin/American Artists in the Modern Metropolis (2009), Retro/Active: The Work of Rafael Ferrer (2010) and the international travelling project entitled Arte no es Vida: Actions by Artists of the Americas, 1960–2000 (2008–2011), for which she received the Emily Hall Tremaine Exhibition Award. She is the author of a monograph on Rafael Ferrer (UCLA, 2012).

Petja Grafenauer is an independent curator, publicist, editor and lecturer, employed at the Museum and Galleries of Ljubljana (MGML) as curator for 2013. She mainly deals with contemporary painting and the construction of discourse within contemporary art. Between 2005 and 2006 she lead the cultural editorial office of Radio Študent, from 2007 to 2009 she was curator at the Ganes Pratt Gallery in Ljubljana. Since 2005 she has been lecturer in History of Contemporary Art at the School of Arts of the University of Nova Gorica. She regularly works with SCCA Ljubljana Centre for Contemporary Arts and is the co-editor of Likovne besede (Artwords) magazine. In 2008 her monograph Aleksij Kobal was published, and in 2010 she edited the book Avtentični interes [Authentic Interest] (selected writings by Zdenka Badovinac). As a curator she has participated in the projects New Tendencies (UGM, 2010), We Want to be Free as the Fathers Were (MGLC, 2010), 28th Biennial of Graphic Arts (2009): The Matrix: An Unstable Reality: 6 monkeys, 300 envelopes and 1 love: “Imperfect as always”, 16th Slovenian Sculpture Exhibition (2012). In 2013 she is also independently curating an exhibition by Ignacio Uriarte at ŠKUC Gallery and an exhibition by Igor Eškinja at Alkatraz Gallery.

Photo: Petja Grafenauer. Image: Citizensofculture.net