The programme of this year's Biennial includes more than 60 exhibitions and related events held at 13 different venues and featuring the work of more than 40 different artists. The main exhibition, Over you / you, prepared by the curator Nicola Lees in collaboration with her assistants Stella Bottai and Laura McLean-Ferris, is on view at the International Centre of Graphic Arts as well as five other galleries and a number of outdoor public spaces across the city.
The International Biennial of Graphic Arts has always been keeping abreast of new trends and striving to broaden horizons. Its current edition brings together traditional works of graphic art, lithographs, large-format wood engravings, etchings, serigraphs, posters, and artists' books, while at the same time broadening the conception of graphic arts beyond traditional definitions to include artistic interventions such as a sculpture floating down the city's river, street lamps in a park, kinetic machines made after historical drawings, and experimental school programmes.
This kind of search for new modes of expression is a staple of the Ljubljana Biennial. Showcasing the work of artists from other cultural and artistic environments throughout its 60-year history, the Biennial has helped raise the quality of graphic art in Slovenia. It deserves credit for the emergence of the famous Ljubljana School of Graphic Art, which dominated the local art and design scene in the 1960s, when art, under the influence of pop art, turned into an object of consumption. In such climate, the Biennial soon became an internationally recognized art event which, being the oldest of its kind, prompted the emergence of a range of similar events across the world.
Since its beginnings, the Ljubljana Biennial has been pushing its boundaries. After 2001, it began to be involved with reproduction techniques other than those used in graphic art, as well as photography, film, and computer programmes. Throughout its existence it has been re-questioning its own structure and organization, its relation to the domestic and international public, and the role of its curators.