35th Ljubljana Biennale of Graphic Arts

From the void came gifts of the cosmos
15. 9. 2023 — 14. 1. 2024
Upstairs Galleries
35th Ljubljana Biennale of Graphic Arts

Artistic Director: Ibrahim Mahama
Curators: Exit Frame Collective, Alicia Knock, Selom Koffi Kudjie, Inga Lace, Beya Othmani, Patrick Nii Okanta Ankrah

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. Alongside the participating artists, this complex council of curatorial entities synchronously imagines the Biennale as a void and a site of potential, and as an ecosystem of friendships and solidarities, unearthed histories of resistance, liberation and transnational relations beyond the centre-periphery framework that holds the possibility of transforming the void into gifts of the cosmos. The void, in this context, suffices as an egalitarian framework out of which multiplicities emerge, while also operating as a site of artistic indeterminacy in the spirit of inclusion. 

The curatorial direction is inspired by Mahama’s long-term interest in the promise of the affirmative and emancipatory politics of Ghana’s first president, Pan-African theorist Kwame Nkrumah. It was his post-independence vision that inspired the creation of the intellectual, cultural, scientific and economic infrastructure that defined Ghana’s first republic between 1960 and 1966. This vision was also expressed in the form of Non-Aligned collaborations culminating in the co-formation of the Non-Aligned Movement. The work of architects, designers, structural engineers and urban planners from the former Yugoslavia, Hungary, Poland and the German Democratic Republic, among others, working on institutional buildings in Ghana was typical of the Socialist Internationalist cooperative models during this post-war period. 

From the void came gifts of the cosmos 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 anchors its inquiry into the residues of this ethos. What forms of life do these infrastructures inhabit 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. 

The main programme includes an exhibition with site-specific commissions across multiple venues including MGLC Tivoli Mansion, Cukrarna Gallery and MGLC Švicarija, to name a few.

More about the programme

Production: International Centre of Graphic Arts; Co-production: Cukrarna Gallery/Museum and Galleries of Ljubljana

Opening hours

Tuesday to Sunday: 10.00–19.00


Admission for 35th Ljubljana Biennale of Graphic Arts (includes all biennale venues):
Adults: 13 €
Pupils, students, senior citizens, ICOM, AICA, SMD, ZDSLU members: 8 €
Family: 19 €
Groups (at least 5 people): 10 €
School groups: 8 €
Preschool children, visitors with disabilities, Friends of the Biennale Club members, KUL abonma subscription holders, URBANA Tourist Card holders, journalists, CIMAM, IBA: admission free  

Admission for Cukrarna venue:
Adults: 8 €
Students, senior citizens, visitors with disabilities: 6 €
Family: 14 €
Children 7 and under, ICOM, journalists, carers of disabled people: admission free