Music

Winter Ljubljana Festival

28. 02. - 4. 03. 2023

Ljubljana

CONTACTS

Zimski festival Ljubljana

Trg francoske revolucije 1 1000, Ljubljana

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The Ljubljana Festival traditionally marks the entry into a new year with its Winter Festival. Activities for introducing this festival into the regular programme began in 2017, as heralded by a concert from the London Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Now an annual series of concerts featuring acclaimed domestic and international artists takes place at various venues around Ljubljana, to the delight of music lovers. The Winter Festival enriches and animates the city and winter events, charms visitors and pushes artists to greater heights.

Performers and Programme

28 Feb 2023 at 19:30
Cankarjev dom (Cultural and Congress Centre)
OPENING OF THE 6TH WINTER FESTIVAL
The famous tenor Rollando Villazón has firmly established himself as one of the most critically acclaimed and popular music stars worldwide.

1 Mar 2023 at 19:30
Cankarjev dom (Cultural and Congress Centre)
ROBERT LAKATOŠ, VIOLIN AND ARTHUR STOCKEL, CLARINET

2 Mar 2023 at 19:30
Cankarjev dom (Cultural and Congress Centre)
H. BERLIOZ: REQUIEM (GRANDE MESSE DES MORTS)

2 Mar 2023 at 19:30
Cankarjev dom (Cultural and Congress Centre)
H. BERLIOZ: REQUIEM (GRANDE MESSE DES MORTS)

2 Mar 2023 at 19:30
Cankarjev dom (Cultural and Congress Centre)
H. BERLIOZ: REQUIEM (GRANDE MESSE DES MORTS)

Film

Animateka International Animated Film Festival

28. 11. - 4. 12. 2022

Ljubljana

CONTACTS

Animateka - mednarodni festival animiranega filma

Trg prekomorskih brigad 1 SI-1000, Ljubljana

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The Animateka International Animated Film Festival is a specialised competitive festival which focuses on Central and East European animated film production. It takes place annually since 2004 at the Kinodvor Cinema and at the Slovenian Cinematheque in Ljubljana during the second week of December. Animateka is organised by the 2 Reels – Association for Reanimation of Storytelling.
The festival includes several sections, depending on each year’s edition, and also a rich programme of retrospectives, additional screenings, conferences, workshops, exhibitions and other events. The call for eligible animated films is usually open from May till September.

BACKGROUND

Animateka’s roots go back to the 1990s when the Slovenian Cinematheque introduced a special monthly programme (curated by Igor Prassel, who later became the director and the main selector of the Animateka festival) focusing on animated film.

SECTIONS

Among the sections, 3 are competitive: the Competition Programme; Elephant in Competition; and European Young Talents Competition. The Competition Programme’s focus on contemporary animated film production from Central and Eastern European countries garners Animateka a great deal of attention in the larger international context. The Elephant in Competition programme focuses on animated film production meant for young audiences and attracts huge international attention.

FESTIVAL AWARDS

Each year, an international 5-member-jury, composed of artists, festival curators and/or scholars confers the main festival award and five special mentions (one from each member). The main festival award, the Animateka Grand Prix, goes to one or two selected works from the Competition Programme, whilst each member of the jury is able to confer a Special Mention to another film of his or her choice from the Competition Programme.

The jury composed of selected representatives from the audience bestows the Slovenian Animated Film Association Audience Award (to any film from the entire festival programme), while the children’s jury grants the Elephant Award for the selected work from the Elephant in Competition Children’s programme. A Special Mention is also given by a student jury.

ARTIST-IN-RESIDENCE PROGRAMME

As its first guest, the Animateka residency programme hosted and presented Danijel Žeželj (Croatia/USA) in 2004. During the years that followed artists in resident included: Lars Fiske (Norway); M. S. Bastian (Switzerland); Koji Yamamura (Japan); Georges Schwizgebel (Switzerland); Matti Hagelberg (Finland); Priit Pärn (Estonia); Max Andersson (Sweden), a filmmaker and comics author (contributing to Stripburger magazine since 1999); Julie Doucet (Canada); Theodore Ushev (Bulgaria/Canada); Akinori Oishi (Japan); Rosto (The Netherlands); Joni Männistö (Finland); Caroline Sury (France) and Edmunds Jansons (Latvia). The graphic design for festival editions has been usually created by the artists-in-residence.

ACCOMPANYING PROGRAMME

Animateka also brings an abundant accompanying programme. It includes the AnimatekaPRO conference for professionals from the field, puppet performances, VR animations, concerts, workshops of animation, exhibitions of animation related drawings (at the premises of Kinodvor, sometimes also in cooperation and on the premises of the International Centre of Graphic Arts, Ljubljana). As Animateka hosts many authors of the films in competition as well as other guests, public talks, working breakfasts or midnight gatherings are organised mainly at Kinodvor Café.

SUMMER PROGRAMME

Since 2015, Animateka has run also the so-called Poletna Animateka, a summer programme of animated film screenings at the Metelkova museums platform or on Gornji trg, and a series of workshops of flip-book creation and pixelation technique events around town.

INTERNATIONAL ACTIVITIES

In 2010, the Animateka festival initiated the Cartoon East project which connects six regional festivals: Animafest Zagreb (Croatia), Animateka Ljubljana (Slovenia), anim’est Bucarest (Romania), Balkanima Belgrade (Serbia), Banja Luka International Animation Film Festival (Bosnia and Herzegovina) and FestAnča Žilina (Slovakia). The East European Animation Award is bestowed to one of the short films, nominated by each participating country. The first award went to Croatian artists Veljko Popović and Svjetlan Junaković for the film My Way.

Dance

CoFestival

24. 11. - 1. 12. 2022

Ljubljana

CONTACTS

CoFestival

SI-1000, Ljubljana

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Background

When CoFestival was first held in 2012, it came about as a result of three different dance festivals and initiatives, coming together for various reasons. One of them was an outgrowth of the international Nomad Dance Academy project, called the PLESkavica Festival (produced by Fičo Balet and the Nomad Dance Academy Slovenia); the other one was the European project Modul-dance, led by by Kino Šiška; and the third one was Ukrep – Festival of Dance Perspectives, a still running biennial production done by the Dance Theatre Ljubljana.

Programme

CoFestival 2022 can be divided into three thematic strands. The first one deals with choreographic material through collective or subjective time (Moritz Ostruschnjak, Michiel Vandevelde, Mateja Rebolj and Magdalena Reiter, Alma Söderberg with Cullberg), the second one observes the body and life through the prism of virtual and digital landscapes (Yuske Taninaka, Aleksandar Georgiev with his team, Barbara Matijević and Giuseppe Chico), while the third transforms the contemporary moment into a poetic image that inevitably flows out into the wild (Věra Ondrašíková and her collective, Mala Kline).

CoFestival 2022 will open with Moritz Ostruschnjak’s striking dance solo Dance Instructions (It Won’t Be Like This Forever), in which an entertaining encyclopaedia of dance vitalism confronts the issues of contextual meanings. Barbara Matijević and Giuseppe Chico, returning to us after five years, deal with the sediments of our digital landscapes and habits in their performance Screenagers Vol. 2. In his solo Gallop, the young Japanese artist Yuske Taninaka uses biometric methods employed in forensic research by criminologists to address identified bodily material. Aleksandar Georgiev takes as its choreographic score the meditative and ornamental digital landscapes of Screensaver.Věra Ondrašíková and her collective in their performance Witness deal with the paths and byways of our contemporary conundrums with the changing nature. In her multidisciplinary performance Venus, Between Captivity and Flight Mala Kline unravels aspects of Botticelli’s Renaissance painterly landscape and its mythology between image, body and dream. In a remarkable performance Goldberg Variations, with which Steve Paxton once created an emblematic modern dance solo, our old acquaintance Michiel Vandevelde exposes Bach’s score to the microscopy of the contemporary dance moment to tackle issues of normative and singular bodies. Also Magdalena Reiter and Mateja Rebolj, who are again collaborating again in the performance Preludes and Fugues after two decades since their work Forma Interrogativa, place their dance present and past in Bach’s musical landscape. This year’s CoFestival will conclude with Alma Söderberg’s Noche, which, together with the renowned Cullberg ensemble, places her choreo-vocal work in an open moment of vulnerable syncope. This edition of the CoFestival will be accompanied by a discursive programme with talks, book presentations, a film programme and the launch of a new publication marking the tenth anniversary of the festival.

Organised by: Kino Šiška and NDA Slovenia in cooperation with the Old Power Station and Ljubljana
Puppet Theatre

Film

Ljubljana International Film Festival (LIFFe)

9. 11. - 20. 11. 2022

Ljubljana

CONTACTS

Ljubljanski filmski festival (LIFFe)

Prešernova 10 SI-1000, Ljubljana

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The Ljubljana International Film Festival (LIFFe) was launched in 1990 as the Film Art Festival Ljubljana. The festival is organised by the Film Department of the Cankarjev dom Cultural and Congress Centre, but films are also screened at Slovenian Cinematheque, Kinodvor Cinema, Komuna Cinema, Bežigrad Cinema, Maribox, Metropol Cinema Celje and APT Novo mesto. It can be classified as a specialised competitive festival that not only features an overview of contemporary world film production but also focuses on emerging directors and new trends in contemporary cinema.

Background

For many years, the programme director of the festival was Jelka Stergel, but Simon Popek has successfully succeeded her, bringing a clearer cinephile touch to the festival in the last few years. Although the festival’s selection is now maybe less commercial than before, the festival audience is still growing. With close to 50,000 tickets sold, the LIFFe is the biggest event in Cankarjev dom’s yearly programme and also one of the biggest cultural events in Slovenia. Another reason for the growing interest is the inclusion of international guests (directors, actors, producers, etc.) who visit the festival each year. In the past years, some well-known directors and actors have visited LIFFe, including Hal Hartley, Eric Zonca, Aleksei German, Jr., James Benning, Burghart Klaußner, Vlad Ivanov, Abel Ferrara and others.

Sections and awards

Ljubljana International Film Festival (LIFFe) focuses on young filmmakers in its main competitive section – Perspectives. The section offers a thoughtful selection of first and second feature films from emerging young directors who have had their international première at important film festivals around the world. The best film, selected by a three-member international jury, is bestowed with the Kingfisher Award (introduced in 1996). The second competitive section is named World in Short and screens short films by young filmmakers.

Other sections of the LIFFe programme: the Avant-premières section – which includes major international productions from established directors that will be screened later in the commercial distribution; the King and Queens section – bringing a variety of works by renowned and awarded masters of contemporary cinema; the World Film Panorama – meant for festival favourites from all over the world; the Extravaganza section – bringing the so-called “midnight cinema” to fans of daring, bizarre and titillating contents of diverse genres; the Focus section – offering an insight into one (or more) of the hottest national cinematographies; the Retrospective section – offering an overall presentation of the work by an important contemporary filmmaker; the Tribute section – bringing a short, condensed presentation of an author. The Kinobalon section is dedicated to the youngest audience as it offers a selection of films for children aged 7 to 14, carefully selected with the help of the Kinodvor Cinema staff.

At LIFFe, the International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI) also has its own three-member jury and it selects the best film from all the works in the programme. Their award is called the FIPRESCI Award and with it, they usually promote a fresh and innovative approach mostly (but not exclusively) among young or unknown filmmakers. The audience award is called the Dragon Award (first introduced in 2000 as the Golden Reel Award) and can be bestowed to any film on the programme; the winning film is later also commercially distributed in Slovenian cinemas. Between 2005 and 2007, LIFFe also presented the Amnesty International Award (granted by Amnesty International Slovenia) but the award was moved to the International Documentary Film Festival.

Facts and numbers

For several years now, the number of screened films exceeds 100 and approximately 10% of those are shorts. Around 250 official screenings take place each year; while just a little less than 50,000 tickets are sold. The festival is followed by around 180 domestic and foreign journalists (the number of foreign journalists is still small but it is growing each year).

International activities

The Ljubljana International Film Festival is also an active member of many international bodies and associations like Europa Cinemas; the Association of European Film Exhibitors, Paris; the European Co-ordination of Film Festivals (ECFF), Brussels; and the Motion Pictures Association, Brussels.

Design

Month of Design

6. 10. - 6. 11. 2022

Ljubljana

CONTACTS

Mesec oblikovanja

Dunajska cesta 123 SI-1000, Ljubljana

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Organised since 2003 by Zavod Big (a.k.a. BIG SEE), the Month of Design is a collaboration between successful companies and their design strategies, designers and developers with a business vision, and brand experts, who know how to capture market imagination. This internationally acclaimed festival of product design, interior architecture and fashion is held in Ljubljana every autumn from October till November.

About

Dedicated to a specific topic of global relevance each year, the Month of Design offers a platform for creative discourse on design, an indoor and outdoor exhibition space for outstanding images, and a colourful range of events creating an inspiring atmosphere of the city. The best achievements in the region are honoured by the BigSEE Awards followed by the National Design Awards, which focus on Slovenia.

Every year, the festival brings together various partners who organize different events on a diverse palette of various places such as expos, galleries, museums, shops and salons, exhibition places, studios, open markets, pop-up locations and warehouses, thus establishing a creative image and vibrations of a dynamic city.

Programme

Focusing on a variety of topics from year to year, including “Sustaining Design Excellence” (2009), “Experience” (2008) and “Mediterranean Identities” (2007), the Month of Design has formed a frame of a fixed annual programme alongside a variety of accompanying presentations, fashion shows, exhibitions and installations.

Within the event, Zavod Big hosts its annual design conference with eminent guests – internationally active and engaged practitioners – from designers and architects to managers and consultants to planners and strategists; talks are typically shared on their YouTube channel.

In 2019, the Month of Design attracted creators from 19 Southeast European countries by means of its increasingly popular regional awards. The central event was supported by the international BigSEE exhibition displaying awarded projects from all four categories in the national pavilions of the SEE countries. Highlights of the event include the Design Expo, which brings together exhibitors from a wide, interdisciplinary array of design spheres and activities, including companies and institutions, faculties and students; the Big Architecture Festival, with its autumn focus on interiors; and the latest additions: days devoted to Wood Icons and Creative Tourism.

Throughout the entire month, several events and exhibitions took place in the city of Ljubljana under the moniker Design in the City. These events offer an opportunity to showcase design work either through presentations or exhibitions at chosen locations in the city centre. It aims to inhabit public space with products and events, to promote quality design and, thus, to contribute to the creative appearance of the city.

Awards

The BigSEE Awards are presented to creators from 19 countries in the SEE region in the categories: Architecture, Interior Design, Product Design, Fashion Design, Tourism Design and Wood Design. The BigSEE Visionary Award commemorates the careers and bodies of work of the biggest creative names in the region.

Besides these awards, the National Design Awards are still presented for outstanding achievements in Slovenian design in four categories: Design of the Year, Interior of the Year, Timeless Design and Perspectives.

Publication

The Month of Design’s official publication, the BigSEE Report, provides key information on domestic and international trends in product, interior and fashion design as represented by the winners of the BigSEE Awards. It features award winners, innovative designers, architects, fashion designers, and Slovene and foreign brands presented at the design conference. It includes a “creative barometer” of the countries involved in the SEE region and aims to measure creativity.

A database of designers and companies involved in creative industries is also available online.

Multidisciplinary

City of Women International Festival of Contemporary Arts

6. 10. - 15. 10. 2022

Ljubljana

CONTACTS

Mesto žensk, Mednarodni festival sodobnih umetnosti

Kersnikova 4 (Office: Metelkova 6) SI-1000, Ljubljana

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The City of Women International Festival of Contemporary Arts presents women artists from Slovenia and abroad working in different disciplines and contexts. Held annually in Ljubljana over a period of 10 to 14 days in October, the festival presents some 40 events – including theatre, visual arts, performance art, dance, film, video, literature, and multimedia – which relate or reflect the selected theme of each year’s festival.



In 2017, the festival was awarded the EFFE Label 2017–2018, marking it as one of the “remarkable festivals” in Europe.


Background

The festival was first organised in 1995 in Ljubljana as an initiative of the Governmental Women’s Policy Office (later renamed as the Equal Opportunities Office) in order to draw attention to the relative lack of participation and presentation of women in the arts. Since 1996, it has been organised as an annual international festival of contemporary arts by the City of Women Association for Promotion of Women in Culture.

Programme

The City of Women celebrates diversity. The festival is a platform for a variety of opinions and perspectives of artists and theorists from all around the world. It aims to articulate the position of women in contemporary society through marginalised perspectives as well as attempts to bring different political and social emphases to the established conceptions of modernity. The festival offers an increasing number of its own productions and co-productions in the fields of performing arts, dance as well as film and music.

Venues and locations

Events are held at various sites around Ljubljana and in recent years also other Slovenian cities, such as Maribor, ranging from established cultural institutions to alternative spaces. Apart from films, performances and exhibitions, the festival features round-table debates, lectures, and workshops, focusing on themes dealing with key problems of modern women and highlighting other marginalised social phenomena.

Other activities

Furthermore, the City of Woman is also active throughout the year, organising lectures, public discussions, civic initiatives, and so on. Its important programme activities are also international collaborations, networking and the promotion of Slovenian artists abroad within partnerships and/or international co-productions.

Visual arts

Tinta Festival

5. 10. - 9. 10. 2022

Ljubljana

CONTACTS

TINTA, Festival stripa Ljubljana

SI-1000, Ljubljana

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The International TINTA Comics Festival, which takes place every October at Kino Šiška and other venues in Ljubljana and elsewhere in Slovenia, is the central comics event in Slovenia. Founded in 2013, the Tinta Festival (formerly Stripolisfest) brings together various actors of the domestic comics, cultural and art scene in order to popularize comics creativity, and presents the highlights and diversity of domestic comics production and projects that go beyond comics and enter into a lively dialogue with other artistic genres. By hosting established foreign comics creators and experts, it provides insight into the lively international scene and trends in the field of contemporary comics in the world, and with an educational program in the form of lectures, masterclasses, workshops and debates, it aims to develop, expand and deepen the domestic comics creativity and scene.

Between October 5 and 9, 2022, the Tinta International Comics Festival will take place at various venues in Ljubljana, celebrating the richness of expressions of contemporary comic creativity and presenting amazing domestic and international comics artists – from talented young people to the biggest names in the field! This year, the programme spotlight shines on the enfant terrible of the European comics scene, Belgian Brecht Evens, the versatile Berlin visual artist ATAK, the rising star of Swedish comics Moa Romanova, the famous American comics master Peter Kuper and the renowned independent comic book publisher kuš! from Latvia. The festival offers a colourful range of comics exhibitions and other events – talks, lectures, workshops, a children’s program and the traditional comics fair at Kino Šiška, which attracts a wide and diverse audience every year and concludes with the awarding of the Zlatirepec Awards to the best original and translated comics editions of the year. The side programme provides a comic book atmosphere for almost a whole month, with Tinta “spilling over” to Novo Mesto this year as well.

Literature

Translation Pranger Festival

5. 07. - 9. 07. 2022

Maribor

CONTACTS

Prevodni Pranger

Ulica heroja Tomšiča 9 A SI-2000, Maribor

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The first edition of the Translation Pranger Festival, the festival of world literature translations and humanities took place in Maribor in 2019. KUD Pranger Cultural Association established Translation Pranger Festival in accordance with the already established Pranger format.

Festival consists of analysis and evaluation public talks on translations of novels, short stories, children’s and youth literature, essays, dramatics, theory and poetry, which is complemented by the sale of interesting books and the recording and transcription of talks. Conversations is followed by relaxed socializing and discussion among participants.

Talks are held at the Maribor Puppet Theater. The first edition of the festival was prepared on the day of the death of St. Hieronymus, the translator best known for the Latin translation of the Bible.

Programme

Face to face (Iz oči v oči)

The management of the festival chooses one foreign language and a selector who will conduct the interview concerning two books or a magazine / radio publication of the translator in the focus of the evening. The choice of the selector is on its own discretion, but must take into account the manageability of the material in scope (especially for the audience who desires to read the material before the event). The choice and argumentation of translation solutions is commented upon by the invited discussant. The selector and discussant explain “face-to-face” their opinions to the translator of the translation, who has the opportunity to explain and reveal at his translation workshop less known facts or textual solutions that the discussant and selector may have interpreted in their own way.

Music

Orto Bar

Ljubljana

CONTACTS


Orto Bar

Grablovičeva 1 SI-1000, Ljubljana

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Established back in 1994 and continuously setting up regular live gigs and club nights ever since, Orto Bar is one of Ljubljana’s central places for rock music enthusiasts. Its name suggestive of the club’s persistent and unwavering rock’n’roll allegiance, this cult bar & club has recently nevertheless opened up to a number of other musical genres. One can subsequently also stumble upon the most extreme metal acts, psy trance parties or rap performances as well as participate in karaoke nights.

Running a programme of its own for the past quarter of a century, Orto (as it is usually called) remains an important catalyst for the Slovene rock scene. However, it also cooperates with several outside producers as well as offers a possibility to rent the venue for private purposes.

Venue characteristics

Orto usually operates till about 4 or 5 AM, though not on every day of the week. It is made up of three separate venues. The main one, with which Orto initially started, is a narrow, 80m2 bar. This is augmented by a concert venue located upstairs, capable of hosting about 150 people. The third site is the bigger “Orto hall”, located downstairs, with a capacity for up to 320 people and suitable for somewhat bigger events.

Located near the train station, just on the edge of the city centre, Orto is but a short walk away from the Metelkova mesto Autonomous Cultural Zone.

Background

As the story goes, Orto’s history stretches back to the early 1980s when its founders Marko Prihoda and Andrej Ciuha were still in high school. They set their ambitions on setting up a club that would be wholly dedicated to rock culture, a feat they’ve managed to realise about a dozen years later. Hence the name Orto.

The place they chose was the former premises of the Zmaj (“Dragon”) battery factory (and still longer back, a beer brewery). The refurbishment and interior design was taken care of by Primož Jeza, a student of architecture who was later given the Student Plečnik Award for this endeavour.

The venue was enlarged with an upstairs concert venue in 1999, but only after already hosting the likes of Dirty Three in its rather tight and smoke-filled premises (Warren Ellis – of the Bad Seeds fame – had to interrupt the band’s Orto gig for an emergency stitching at the ER, only to finish it two hours later). In 2007, Orto gained another hall (serving as a pool room when not used for gigs or clubbing) as well as a smoking room.

When first established, Orto was a pioneering bar-and-live-music venue in Ljubljana. However, it still remains one of the few venues in Ljubljana with a regular programme of live rock music.

Music programme

There have been well over 3000 (possibly even closer to 4000) concerts held at Orto since it was established, with about 100-150 concerts each year.

It maintains a very open gig policy and hosts internationally-renowned rock acts as well as fresh bands from Slovenia and abroad. The club runs an open call for new rock and metal bands who want to perform here, supplying them with all the necessary stage equipment, taken that the band is prepared to play on a door-deal.

Besides most of the major rock, punk, pop and metal bands from Slovenia, the stage of Orto also hosted a significant part of big rock acts from the ex-Yugoslavia region like Jinx, Majke, Psihomodo pop, Partibrejkers, Rambo Amadeus, Goblini, Bambi Molesters, Dubioza Kolektiv, Bajaga, and Urban & 4.

Of the guests from abroad, one can mention Clawfinger, Toasters, The Slackers, Hanson Brothers, Little Axe, Mick Harvey, Napalm Death, Therapy, Nick Oliveri, Cult Of Luna, Red Sparowes, Anti-Nowhere League, UK Subs, Dirty Three, Young Gods, Orange Goblin, Satanic Surfers, Nebula, At The Drive-In, Fshbone, Dead Moon, Nashville Pussy, Kosheen, Jucifer, Billy Milano, etc.

Orto fest

In 1999, the first annual Orto Fest was organised sometime in April, basically presenting an excerpt of the club’s musical agenda throughout the year. Initially it lasted for 10 days but later it was prolonged to what is now almost one straight month of rock’n’roll.

Outside producers

Each first, third, and fifth Thursday of the month is reserved for the Kadilnica of Death programme, organised by the Dirty Skunks. There play records as well as host live gigs (among others, the HC legends Agnostic front from the US) and organise album presentations, record fairs, and concert after-parties.

Other significant organisers are mostly set on psy trance, techno, and other clubbing genres.

Visual arts

National Gallery of Slovenia

Ljubljana

CONTACTS


Narodna galerija

Puharjeva 9 SI-1000 , Ljubljana

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The National Gallery of Slovenia (Narodna galerija) is the main art museum in Slovenia that holds the country’s largest fine art collection from the late medieval period up to the early twentieth century. It was founded as early as 1918 as the National Gallery Society with the aim of establishing a museum for Slovenian fine arts. First housed in the Kresija Palace, the Gallery relocated to the Narodni dom palace in 1926.

A completely reorganised and expanded permanent exhibition of the collections returned to public view in January 2016, following an extensive renovation of the Narodni dom palace.

History

The National Gallery of Slovenia was founded in 1918 as the National Gallery Society with the aim of establishing a museum for Slovenian fine arts. The National Gallery was originally housed in the Kresija Palace, where the first Permanent Exhibition was opened to the public in 1920. The Gallery relocated to the Narodni dom Palace in 1926, where it remains to this day. During the German occupation, the Gallery collections were relocated to the basements of the National Museum and the National and University Library. After the war, on 1 July 1946, the National Gallery of Slovenia became a state institution.

In the 1980s, the Gallery embarked on an expansion and renovation project that lasted for four decades. In 1988, the Gallery acquired the premises of the neighbouring Club of Delegates and in 1993 completed the New Wing in its lot. In 2001, the glass Entrance Hall, which connects the Narodni dom Palace and the New Wing, was completed. The Robba Fountain was placed inside the Entrance Hall in 2008. In 2009 the Gallery began the renovation of the Narodni dom Palace, which reopens in January 2016.

Next to permanent exhibition premises, there is an exhibition area for temporary exhibitions, educational activities and the National Gallery of Slovenia Library.

Collections

After its foundation in 1918, the Gallery succeeded in a relatively short time in bringing together works from both public and private collections, including works by Slovenian artists purchased by the City of Ljubljana and works belonging to the Society for Christian Art; it also began to systematically purchase other works of art. An important acquisition was 90 paintings from the Strahl Collection. In 1927 the Gallery ordered casts of classical sculptures from the Louvre and in 1934 augmented its collection with fine art works belonging to the National Museum of Slovenia. After the Museum of Modern Art opened in 1947, many of the National Gallery’s 20th-century works were transferred to the new museum. Throughout the Gallery’s history, numerous works of art were donated and bequeathed to the institution by artists themselves or their relatives, collectors, companies and individuals.

Today the Gallery’s collection comprises 3,500 paintings, 1,000 pieces of sculpture, over 8,000 works on paper, and around 20,000 documents, thus taking care for the works of art by more than 1,000 artists. A selection of artworks is also accessible online.

The Permanent Collection of the National Gallery of Slovenia could be subdivided into Art in Slovenia, European Painters, Government Art Collection, Collection of Zoran A. Mušič (1909–2005), and a Special Collection.

A Collection of Zoran A. Mušič (1909–2005), a Slovene Modernist painter who established himself in the international art world (Venice and Paris), comprises 57 artworks that were donated to the gallery in 2014 by the artist’s niece, with further 40 works on loan. The Government Art Collection comprises over 1300 works of art that were acquired directly by the government, mostly after the Second World War, and kept in ministry and government buildings. The Gallery became the custodian of the collection in 1986. A Special Collection consists of a collection of posters, calendars and documents from the personal archives of Slovene artists who worked in the late 19th and in the first half of the 20th century.

Permanent exhibition set anew

As the premises were expanded, in January 2016 a permanent exhibition was reinstalled: it features a new selection of works from all the collections arranged chronologically, covering the period between the 13th and the early 20th century.

Temporary exhibitions programme

The museum’s programme counts approximately 4 major and 15 small-scale exhibitions per year. The majority of them are prepared by the house curators, some are acquired by exchange with international institutions or prepared by other Slovene organisations (e.g. Biennial of Slovene Visual Communications).

International Cooperation

On 17 April 2013 the exhibition Slovenian Impressionists and their time (1890–1920), curated by Sylvain Lecombre and Barbara Jaki, opened at the Petit Palais Museum in Paris. To date, it was the largest exhibition of Slovenian art in Western Europe.

The Gallery works together with many European art museums and institutions, including Uffizi Gallery, Italy; National Sculpture Museum of Spain, Spain; National Museum in Warsaw, Poland; University of Galway, Ireland; Regional Council of Lower Normandy, France; Finnish National Gallery, Finland; and Gallery of Matica srpska, Serbia.

The Robba Fountain

Francesco Robba (1698–1757), whose oeuvre connected Ljubljana with contemporary Venetian art, created the fountain between 1743 and 1751, and modelled it on the famous Roman fountains. The sculptures of the three river gods decorating it most probably represent three rivers in the then province of Carniola, namely the Sava, the Ljubljanica and the Krka. The original fountain was removed from Ljubljana’s Mestni trg Square and replaced by a copy. The original, refurbished and restored, now resides in the Entrance Hall of the National Gallery of Slovenia.

Music programme

Since 2001 the National Gallery hosts each year a cycle of concerts by the Slovene Philharmonic String Chamber Orchestra, entitled Harmony of the Spheres [Sozvočja svetov]. The events combine lectures on fine arts with concerts of chamber music, which include pieces from the classical repertoire and original compositions.

Education Department

The Education Department of the Gallery was founded in 1961 and is among the oldest in the country. Children’s programming encourages art exploration through the adventures of Gal the Dwarf, the mascot of the Gallery since 1981, setting up the Motivational Gallery exploration space, called Gal’s Room, in the gallery. Education Department each year organizes around 200 public events and welcomes more than 20,000 young visitors.

Artworks loan, venue hire

The National Gallery also loans its artworks and photo material for exhibitions and publications, according to international standards. It is also possible to hire the gallery spaces for events.