BIEN 2023: The Sun
May 31 – August 10 2023
Wednesday, 31 May, 6 PM – Layer House Kranj
Friday, 2 June, 7 PM – Courtyard of Škofja Loka Castle
Monday, 5 June, 6 PM – Xcenter Nova Gorica
Tuesday, 6 June, 7 PM – Stara Sava Jesenice
Locations: Kranj (31 May–10 August) – Layer House, Globus, Škrlovec Tower, Tunnels under the Old Kranj, Cene Avguštin Gallery, Medprostor, Pungert Tower, Kranj City Library, City Hall Cellar, public spaces; Škofja Loka (2 June–31 August) – Škofja Loka Museum’s Round Tower, Living Room, Castle Park; France Mihelič Gallery in Kašča; Nova Gorica (5 June–29 July) – Xcenter, Gong Gallery; Jesenice (6 June–31 August) – Stara Sava, Kolpern.
BIEN presents more than 100 artists, collectives, student productions and participants at BIEN symposium. The biennial exhibitions can be both an inspiration and a warning. Its art projects explore the dangers brought on by the growing environmental and climate crisis, while also emphasizing the pleasant qualities of warmth, growth, and enabling emanating from our brightest star. Growth and degrowth, the ultimate consequences of our ambivalent relationship with the Sun, are at the forefront of the exhibition projects and the organized programme of workshops, talks, and events. Biennial main venue is Layer House in Kranj.
Highlighted artists: One of the most prominent Finnish environmental and textile artists, Kaarina Kellomäki, will create her work in situ on the Castle Garden of Škofja Loka. Environmentally focused, the spatial installation made from bioplastic materials by Nnenna Okore will be exhibited in the Škrlovec Tower Kranj. Visiting artists at BIEN 2023 will be creating at the Layer House art residencies in Kranj. We have invited Paolo Puck, a British artist known for his large felt masks and costumes,Twee Muizen, a Spanish artistic duo who blend surrealistic aura and aesthetics into their textile masks, Susana Cereja, a Portuguese artist inspired by archaic textile techniques.
Among Slovenian artists, we would like to highlight Varka Kozlovič, a textile artist living in Denmark, who creates abstract embroidered drawings inspired by urban and organic patterns; one of the most important representatives of engaged textile art in Slovenia; Marija Mojca Pungerčar; Boris Beja, a contemporary artist who combines various visual practices into an aestheticized, direct message with an emphasis on social criticism; Katja Felle, receiver of a bronze award for her tapestry at the 17th International Triennial of Tapestry in Lodz, Poland; and Brinas Studio and Roka Collective from Radlje ob Dravi, who created a sun inspired tapestry especially for BIEN.
From Japan to Chile, from the North to Zagreb the artworks selected on the BIEN open call have arrived in Kranj. French artist Alice Raymond’s work “Climate Change” shows the evolution of temperatures and humidity in Ghana between 1989 and 2021. Japanese artist Rieko Yashiro evokes the myth of Icarus, who fell into the sea when he tried to fly too close to the Sun. In her embroidery, Estefanía Tarud Karl from Chile addresses everyday life and plays with the concept of shadow and sunlight under the door. BIEN also highlights the textile art from Croatian capital in Focus: Zagreb and contemporary creative expressions from the North of Europe. The Nordic Focus is supported by the Swedish Embassy and the Embassy of Finland in Budapest covering Slovenia.
In the public space the Bangladeshi artist Habiba Nowrose will exhibit her photographs of densely textured portraits that raise questions about women’s rights, gender identity, and mythology. In Jesenice, the old blast furnance will be clothed in textiles by the Creative center KreativNice. On the main square in Kranj, students of the Faculty of Natural Sciences and Engineering, under the mentorship of Prof. Marija Jenko, are constructing a large textile canopy, which features details of Marjan Šorli’s architecture.
In the underground, in the Tunnels under the Old Kranj a multidisciplinary team of authors is preparing art installations in four underground rooms. The group underGROWTH is tackling the theme of shadows and underground spaces.
Student productions are prepared by students, dedicated mentors, and professional collaborators from five partner faculties: the Faculty of Natural Sciences and Engineering, the Faculty of Education, and the Faculty of Architecture (all members of the University of Ljubljana), as well as the Faculty of Design, an independent higher education institution, and the Academy of Arts of the University of Nova Gorica. In total, 29 individual and group exhibitions will be on display.
The France Mihelič Gallery in the Kašča in Škofja Loka will host a group exhibition of students of art pedagogy. Using various materials, including charcoal and geotextiles, students interpreted the works of France Mihelič, one of the most important representatives of Slovenian painting in the second part of the 20th century
Knowledge Sharing Programme: Textile Communities and Spaces
On Tuesday, June 6, from 10 am to 12 am, we will host an online meeting of textile spaces. We will get to know the Italian Lottozero, Estonian Stuudio Labus, Icelandic Textile Center, and Slovenian KreativNice, textile lab Center Rog, and Ethno gallery Desetnica.
On Thursday, June 29, at 6 pm, we invite you to a round table discussion on the importance of textile communities curated by Jasmina Ferček from the Oloop Collective. Members of various Slovenian textile communities will talk about their experiences of the importance of socializing while creating textiles, also international good practices will be presented. Members of the Oloop, Razkrite roke, Breja preja, No-Border-Craft, Story-cloth Database, Creatively Empowered Women, and Fine Cell Work collectives will join us.
For toddlers and textile enthusiasts
Ajda Tomazin is preparing a movement-based visual performance for toddlers up to three years of age. The premiere of “Yellow Dot in the Sky” will take place on Saturday, June 3, at 10 am, following with the reprise of the performance on Wednesday, June 21, at 5 pm. Textile enthusiasts can enjoy a rich programme of workshops. We are also highlighting two vintage clothing fairs and the intervention in public space “Maskenbal” when mythological creatures will visit the city center of Kranj.
Full programme of the biennial: https://layer.si/bien/en/programme/