Highlights from Ljubljana Art Weekend

by Amina Ahmed

The second edition of Ljubljana Art Weekend will be held in Slovenia from May 25 to 28, 2023. With the participation of 31 partner institutions, this four-day festival will feature an impressive lineup of numerous exhibitions, openings, guided tours with curators, art walks, workshops, round tables, performances, and artist talks across the city.

The festival's program centres around exploring various types of spaces, which also serves as the theme for this year's edition of Art Weekend. As the organisers emphasise, the concept of 'spaces' carries many meanings, keywords, and associations, both literal and metaphorical. Consequently, several events within the festival will delve into a broad spectrum of spaces, ranging from media, public, and art production spaces, inviting discussions on the challenges and opportunities they present. EEP Berlin gathered five events to highlight the programme.


[Round Table] 
Cukrarna Gallery
On View:
25 . 05 . 2023
Opening times:
19-21 h


At least three things have been in crisis since modern times: media, art and criticism. Despite the constant gloomy prophecies of an end, none of this has disappeared, but we are witnessing new initiatives. One of them is art publications. What does it mean in 2023 to create a medium dedicated to contemporary art practice? How important is the platform (print, web, text, podcast) and how does it change depending on the content and the target audience? Are art publications meant to promote and question art, or are they an art form in their own right? Is art too much about PR and not enough about polemics? Are they niche projects by people who hermetically seal themselves off in artistic heights, or are they intended for a wider readership? What are the pitfalls of the former and what of the latter? How important is the local focus in a global world, or rather in a local setting with a global perspective? Manca G. Renko, editor of Cukr magazine, will discuss what and how we read, write, speak, hear and edit with the editors from ETC (Hana Čeferin), Šum (Tjaša Pogačar), Blok (Kathryn Zazenski), Kajet (Petrică Mogoș & Laura Naum) and Artforum (Kate Sutton).




Marina Abramović and Ulay ended their long-standing partnership with a 90-day walk that began at opposite ends of the Great Wall of China, she on the shores of the Yellow Sea, he on the edge of the Gobi Desert, and met on 3. June 1988. Halfway there, they embraced, said goodbye, and continued their journeys separately.

Between 26. and 28. May, a video work will be shown on the balcony of the house where Ulay last lived three years ago, documenting the last of the performances the two artists did together. The screening will take place at Petkovškovo nabrežje and will be viewable from the arcades of the Plečnik market (Ljubljana Market) between Zmajski most (Dragon Bridge) and Mesarski most (Butchers' Bridge) from 9 pm.


[Solo Exhibition]
Alkatraz Gallery
On View:
9 . 5 . 2023 – 28 . 5 . 2023
Opening times:
Mon-Fri 11-19 h

The exhibition, which is part of the 24th Red Dawn Festival, presents Meta Krese's multi-year photographic project documenting the stories of widows from Srebrenica who found refuge in isolated refugee settlements during the Bosnian war. Some of them, which were meant to be short-term solutions, are still standing. The exhibition tells the story of the widows, their children and grandchildren who cannot return to their homes and remain trapped in this temporary but actually final in-between space. The project aims to raise the question of what war brings and what peace does not take away. The artist has thoroughly researched the stories of the most vulnerable people and creatively pieced them together into a whole. In this way, we are presented with a critical account of the problems that the world has not been able to solve and that have therefore been pushed to the margins of its consciousness.

Curated by Sebastian Krawczyk and Ana Grobler.


Meta Krese is a Slovenian journalist and photographer whose work has appeared in newspapers, magazines and books. She was also an editor of Fotografija, the magazine for Slovenian photographers, for ten years. As a journalist, she has worked with humanitarian organizations such as Red Cross Slovenia, International Trust Fund for Demining, Mine Victim Assistance, and ISOP—Innovative Sozialprojekte. In 2006 Meta Krese received an award from the Slovene Association of Journalists, and in 2011 she won the European journalism prize "Writing for CEE".
[Solo Exhibition]
Mala galerija BSI
On View:
23 . 5 . 2023 - 17 . 6. 2023
Opening times:
Tue-Sat 11-19 h


We are used to perceiving photography as a system that is open to the world and life in general and a system that builds its semantic world – usually in a documentary manner – via the capability of creating permanent images through capturing light. Hence, in its essence, photography is directed outwards, to its own or our environment, which, thanks to its technology and conceptual design, it can record in a manner that our culture describes as ‘objective’.

Jon Derganc's exhibition Photographs, however, introduces the viewer to a completely different system. The images presented are the result of combining two technologies: an electronic shutter and pulse-density modulation. The combination of these two technologies, or the time differences between them, results in a series that changes the traditional photographic orientation, creating a closed-in, looped and autarchic poetic system. The images of colour fields rising in large dimensions monumentally on the gallery walls are more reminiscent of modernist paintings and their self-referential universes than photographs. With their spatial grandeur and brilliant colours, which create a feeling of depth and three-dimensionality, they form their own world. Derganc's images are paradoxical entities of evading identity and ontology, evoking both modernist paintings and Flavin's light installations, while themselves oscillating between an open series and closed works, continuity and integrity and, in extreme cases, one could say, two paradigms: the contemporary and modern. It is a self-sufficient system or a product of the fact that photographic technology has renounced its basic intentionality or outward orientation and thus begun talking about itself. The shift to this self-contradiction proves to be a moment of expressive productivity, that is so specific for art: the productivity of producing ambivalence and paradoxes that force us to look beyond the existing categories of understanding the world.


Jon Derganc (1986) is a Slovenian artist. He graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Ljubljana (2011). In 2014, Jon Derganc obtained an MFA in graphics from Rabindra Bharati University in Kolkata, India. He has showcased his artwork at various exhibitions in Slovenia and abroad, including "Crises and New Beginnings: Art in Slovenia 2005-2015" held at the Museum of Contemporary Art Metelkova (2015); "Vidno nevidno" at the Gallery of Contemporary Art Celje (2014); "Password: Printmaking" exhibited at the International Center of Graphic Arts in Ljubljana and others. He was also honoured at the esteemed international StartPoint: Prize for Emerging Artists in 2012.


[Group Exhibition]
Jakopič Gallery
On View:
14 . 2 . 2023 - 4 . 6 . 2023
Opening times:
Tue-Sun 10-18 h


The core visual story of the exhibition project Ripples: A Visual Diary of Water is narrated by cutting-edge water-themed photographs from the archives of the Dutch photography agency NOOR Images. The project is based on a re-questioning of gallery settings practice and whether expensive frames, large formats and high-end display equipment really make the photographs and the exhibition more meaningful. Over 15 years of activity in Jakopič Gallery we have accumulated a lot of materials, which were up-cycled through a co-creative process. The concept and the experience of the exhibition are also supported with soundscapes. 

Artists: Pep Bonet, Andrea Bruce, Alixandra Fazzina, Stanley Greene, Tanya Habjouqa, Yuri Kozyrev, Bénédicte Kurzen, Sebastian Liste, Jon Lowenstein, Kadir von Lohuizen, Sanne De Wilde, Francesco Zizola.

Curated by dr. Marija Skočir (MGML), Stefano Carini (NOOR Images).


Ljubljana Art Weekend was initiated by Ravnikar Gallery Space in 2022. It is an event that connects the most important venues of contemporary art in Ljubljana city. The festival aims to bring together organisations and institutions, galleries, museums and project spaces dedicated to the presentation and promotion of contemporary art, thus contributing to the consolidation of the local art scene and promotion of its plurality and vitality.


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