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.

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.

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.

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.

Museum of Puppetry

Ljubljana

CONTACTS


Lutkovni muzej - stalna razstava

Grajska planota 1 SI-1000, Ljubljana

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Opened in 2015, the Museum of Puppetry is a joint project of the Ljubljana Puppet Theatre and the Ljubljanski grad Public Institute, supported by the Municipality of Ljubljana. The permanent exhibition Images of Slovenian Puppetry Art, 1910-1990 displays the numerous forms, contexts and techniques of puppet shows, featuring both children’s plays as well as experimental theatre performances.

The establishment of the museum presents a pioneering work for Slovenian puppet arts, as the material history of Slovenian puppetry has never before been systematically researched, not to mention restored and exhibited. With this in mind, one of the primary objectives of the museum is to create the conditions for the proper care and long-term preservation of Slovenian puppetry culture heritage.

Background

Slovenia’s tradition of recorded and preserved puppet theatre goes back to early years of the 20th century. At that time, one of the primary figures was the painter Milan Klemenčič (1875–1957), who established his own puppet theatre. Between the wars, these theatres were greatly popularised and multiplied by the Sokol [Hawk] movement. By that time, puppetry was present to such an extent that in 1933, Ljubljana hosted the international puppet association UNIMA congress. After WWII, in 1948, the Ljubljana Puppet Theatre was established. Having hosted nearly 300 premières till now, it is clear that puppetry forms a regular part of Slovenia’s cultural production.

In 1990, Milan Klemenčič’s daughter donated his legacy to the Ljubljana Puppet Theatre Museum Collection. The collection was set-up as a part of Ljubljana Puppet Theatre and while it is now incorporated into the museum, it is in a way also its predecessor. The material legacy of other early puppet theatres was mostly housed in various personal collections or regional and specialised museums and archives, where a lot of it still resides.

As a result, the Ljubljana Puppet Theatre had its own, rather vast repositories and in fact, they are now the primary source of the museum.

The repositories of the Ljubljana Puppet Theatre

The repositories of the theatre contained material representing nearly 300 puppet shows, which means around 3000 puppets and the accompanying scenery. These had never been systematically stored, and the material legacy of theatre based Slovene puppetry was actually quite badly preserved. When the decision to establish the museum was made a few years ago, the Ljubljana Puppet Theatre was faced with the fact that no previous know-how on handling and restoring the archived materials was available and for this, the skills and the knowledge had to be acquired.

While the museum now holds the highlighted pieces, the majority of the material is still maintained in the repositories, and based on the knowledge gained when setting up the museum, these materials are now being actively restored and conserved. For this, the theatre has recently been awarded funds from the Creative Europe programme of the European Union for a project entitled All Strings Attached: Pioneers Of European Puppetry Behind the Scenes that also involves the Municipality of Cividale (Čedad) in Italy, the Spanish theatre group Etcetera, and the Croatian Art Academy in Osijek.

The museum collection and programme

The museum houses a vast collection of material artefacts such as artistic and technical designs for puppet shows, puppets, scenic elements, stages and written documents. In addition, the museum also screens television puppet shows, runs workshops, presents interactive puppet stages, and actively engages in developing the field of puppetry conservation and restoration know-how.

The permanent exhibition of the Museum of Puppetry is set up in a recently-restored part of the Ljubljanski grad. The collection is divided into two distinct parts. The first part presents material from the decades between 1910 and 1968. One of its sections is entitled The Birth of Slovene Puppetry besides the aforementioned legacy of Milan Klemenčič and the Sokol movement.

The section also presents (among others) the very curious collection of the Partisan puppet theatre (set up during WWII and lent by the National Museum of Contemporary History). A second section in this part focuses upon the early works by the Ljubljana Puppet Theatre – some of which plays are still running today. The original folk hand-puppets called lileks and Pavliha (the Slovenian version of Pulcinella, Kasperl or Punch), both introduced by ethnologist Niko Kuret, are also on view.

The second part of the exhibition focuses on the development of Slovenian puppetry from 1968 onwards as well as on the contemporary artistic creation in this field, which at the start of the 1980s also became a podium for more adult and experimental-oriented puppet endeavours. Besides the material legacy and stills from the performances, the collection screens some early Slovenian puppet animations and televised puppet show series, since already for a long time, RTV Slovenia has had its own puppet studio. This material was lent to the museum by RTV Slovenia and by the Slovene Film Archives.

There are also three interactive wooden stages, one for string puppets, one for hand puppets and a third for shadow puppets, all of them accompanied by experiential content on interactive screens. The three stages were designed and made by the renowned puppet director and artist Silvan Omerzu, founder of the Konj Puppet Theatre and recipient of the Prešeren Award.

Guided tours of the the permanent exhibition are available, which will also be accompanied by additional educational programmes for children, youth and adults.

Additional puppetry programmes

Not only has the museum opened its doors at the Ljubljana Castle, the castle will also be the venue for a regular programme staging old puppet shows.

Lutkovna pot (Puppet Path) comprises of five installations animated by interactive mechanisms created by Silvan Omerzu. That are situated between the two locations in order to signal the connection of the Ljubljana Puppet Theatre and the museum.

Museum of Post and Telecommunications

Polhov Gradec

CONTACTS


Muzej pošte in telekomunikacij

Polhov Gradec 61 SI-1355, Polhov Gradec

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The Museum of Post and Telecommunications, which had been housed in Škofja Loka since 1985, was moved in June 2008 to Polhov Gradec mansion. The renewed museum collection was co-established by Pošta Slovenia and Telekom Slovenia, while it remains a separate branch of the Technical Museum of Slovenia. The museum includes displays of national postal history and the history of telecommunications. The museum also houses a collection of stamps. The majority of the exhibited technical exponents are still functioning. Visitors with minor technical knowledge can also become acquainted with the operational basics of various electrical, optical and acoustic appliances used for transmitting information.

History

As the oldest communications institution in Slovenia, it has in its time been closely connected with the development of the economy, politics and culture. The origins of the museum may be traced back to the Museum of the Hungarian Crown Post Office (which in those times was also responsible for what is today the Slovene region of Prekmurje) which was founded in Budapest in 1887. The Austrian portion of the Habsburg Empire, which at the time administered the remaining Slovene-speaking regions (that is, Carniola, Styria, Carinthia, Gorizia and Istria), set up its own museum in Vienna in 1891. Following the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1918 and the establishment of the new Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, the Belgrade authorities issued a decree on the foundation of a Museum of Post and Telegraphy in Belgrade, prior to the enforcement of the first legislative act on the regulation of postal, telegraph and telephone services in the new state. The story was similar after the end of the Second World War, when an arbitrarily political decision was made to establish a single postal museum for the entire Yugoslavia in the federal capital. Despite this, however, the Belgrade-based National Museum of Post, Telegraphy and Telephony was not actually instituted until 1958, and Croatia was the only constituent republic of the former Yugoslavia to found its own postal museum during the 1950s.

Collections

The renewed museum collections include the following sections: “The History of Post” (all the numerous forms of transfer and transmission of news, information, money and goods, from ancient times right up to the present day), “The History of Telecommunications” (demonstrations of telegraphy, telephony and broadcasting, the evolution of telecommunication media traced through a series of special models, which illustrate the working principles, detailed information and graphical illustrations), the section “Women in Telephony and Telegraphy” (how developments in telegraphy and telephony contributed to the creation of new jobs during the 20th century which were mainly occupied by women), “Živa’s Corner” where the youngest museum visitors are introduced to the development of transport and the history of message transmission from ancient times to the present day, in funny and appealing ways.

The new installation under the title The Beginnings of the Mobile Phone Systems in Slovenia was curated by Ljudmila Bezlaj Krevel and presents a new collection of the mobile phones. The exhibition comprises also the multimedia presentations of the telegraph network, the production of phone devices, the building and montage of the central. The collection has been enriched by films and animations on the theme of the post as well as with several maquettes of the postal carriages, reconstructions of the post offices of various periods, a selection of the uniforms of postmen and various postal vehicles (carriages, bicycles, motorbikes, etc.). One of the museum objects was returned to the town of Polhov Gradec: a post horn from 1869 was owned by the Tomažič family who ran the post in Polhov Gradec in the late 19th century.

Music

Ljubljana Jazz Festival

15. 06. - 18. 06. 2022

Ljubljana

CONTACTS

Jazz Festival Ljubljana

Prešernova 10 SI-1000, Ljubljana

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Established in 1960, Ljubljana Jazz Festival is the oldest continuously running jazz festival in Europe, and takes place annually over three or four days at the end of June. Over the decades it has managed to attract an impressive array of world-class performers and improvisers from all over the globe, with a programme that continues to evolve and to take in the latest forms of jazz and improvised music. In 2018, under the stewardship of festival director Bogdan Benigar and co-curator Pedro Costa, it won the Europe Jazz Network’s prestigious Award for Adventurous Programming.

Programme

In keeping with the contemporary adage that jazz is about how you play rather than what you play, the festival’s programme ranges widely across all forms of jazz expression, from hard, exploratory improvisation, through the recent adoption of found sounds and electronics, to funkier and more soulful styles. The international dimensions of the festival are well-established, with perhaps a slightly greater emphasis on European artists than on those from across the Atlantic in recent years.

The festival also features an accompanying programme. Including residency programmes, film screenings, round tables, lectures, poster and jazz photography exhibitions, and multimedia installations. Although the festival is centred on events in late June, Cankarjev dom also stages a year-round programme of events under the festival name, as well as the Tuesday Clubbing (Cankarjevi torki) series, which attempts to keep the festival spirit alive from September to April with an adventurous programme spanning jazz and roots.

Venues

Since 1982 the festival has been held in the concert halls of Cankarjev dom (CD), Slovenia’s national cultural centre, with the revitalised CD Club being brought into the fold in 2008 and the CD park (officially the Council of Europe Park) becoming the main venue in the late 2010s. Križanke no longer stages festival events.

Prehistory and early years

The seeds of the festival that formally emerged in 1960 as the Yugoslavian Jazz Festival were sown in the years following the end of World War II and the formation of the RTV Slovenia Big Band. Jazz was incorporated into the band’s programme for a few years before being declared politically undesirable, but managed to resurface in the second half of the 1950s. In the meantime, the various Yugoslavian pop festivals had helped create a lively, interconnected music scene that meant that the first edition of the jazz festival edition had an extensive, ready-made line-up featuring musicians from all parts of the federal republic. Correspondingly, the Slovenian pop music festival Slovenska popevka, established in 1962, shared most of the Slovenian musicians who appeared at the jazz festival.

For the first six years, the festival took place in Bled, before moving to Ljubljana in 1967. Three years later, it installed itself in what would become its home for many years: the Križanke complex in the city centre. For the first two decades or so, the festival was organised by Jazz Society Ljubljana, and its close ties with the RTV Slovenia Big Band, then a bastion of Slovenian jazz traditionalism, meant that the programming remained broadly conventional and, to some extent, conservative. The festival featured more or less exclusively Yugoslav musicians and Yugoslav radio big band ensembles, although there were notable exceptions, such as the Albert Mangelsdorff Quintet (1962), the Modern Jazz Quartet (1964), the Krzysztof Komeda Quintet (1965), Jean-Luc Ponty (1967) and Memphis Slim (1968).

1970s

The 1970s brought a loosening of the unspoken strictures that had applied in the festival’s first decade, with free jazz, fusion and “ECM jazz” gaining admittance (if not full acceptance). The international dimensions of the festival also expanded, with some of the biggest names of the decade appearing in Ljubljana: Bobby Hutcherson and Harold Land in 1971, the Bill Evans Trio and Ram Chandra Mistry in 1972, the Archie Shepp Quintet in 1973, the Jazz Messengers, the Stan Getz Quartet and Odetta in 1974, the Elvin Jones Quartet in 1975, the Cecil Taylor Quintet in 1976, Paul Bley in 1979 and the Pharoah Sanders Quartet in 1981.

1980s

In 1982, organisation of the Ljubljana Jazz Festival passed from Jazz Society Ljubljana to the newly opened Cankarjev dom national cultural centre. This heralded the establishment of a new curatorial model, with the enlarged programming panel seeking to open the festival up more fully towards new jazz and new improvised forms. While this met with some resistance and a fair amount of public polemic, it was well received by a younger audience keen to move on from the older sounds. The first signs that things were changing came with the appearance of the Sun Ra Arkestra in 1982, followed by other figures from the left field of jazz: Steve Lacy and Mal Waldron, Irene Schweizer, the Lester Bowie Ensemble, and the Keith Tippett-Peter Brötzmann Quartet.

Internal squabbles continued, which led to that portion of the programme panel agitating for further reform, and for the inclusion of other (experimental) genres of music, establishing the Druga Godba Festival in 1985. The festival nevertheless managed to maintain a strong programme through the 1980s, with appearance from the likes of the Vienna Art Orchestra, Anthony Braxton Quartet, the Trevor Watts Trio, the Julius Hemphill Jah Band, Dudu Pukwana and Zila, the McCoy Tyner Trio, the Art Ensemble of Chicago, Max Roach, Roscoe Mitchell and Gilberto Gil.

1990s and the 21st century

By now a well-established stop for some of the world’s top jazz musicians, the festival played host in the 1990s and early 2000s to artists such as Steve Coleman’s Five Elements, Miles Davis, the Don Byron Klezmer Orchestra, the Bill Frisell Group, Defunkt, Marc Ribot, the Peter Brötzmann Chicago Tentet, Femi Anikulapo-Kuti and the Positive Force, the Jan Garbarek Group, the Ornette Coleman Quartet, Abdullah Ibrahim, the Wayne Shorter Quartet, Reggie Workman, Charlie Haden Quartet West and Kenny Garrett.

After celebrating its 50th birthday in 2009, the festival continued to present strong programmes comprised of established artists, emerging talents and special projects: Han Bennink, Avishai Cohen, Hamilton de Holanda, Richard Galliano, John Zorn (with various projects), Peter Brötzmann (who was the subject of a four-concert special focus in 2013), Maria João, John Scofield, Neneh Cherry (with The Thing), David Murray, Macy Gray, Sly and Robbie with Nils Petter Molvær, Mercedes Sosa, Gregory Porter, the Vijay Iyer Trio, Peter Evans, Nate Wooley, Dans Dans and Fire! Orchestra.

2016 onwards

Starting in 2016, the festival took another of its frequent left turns, moving part of the programme into the CD park for a series of free daytime and early evening concerts. The park programme has since been extended in volume and scope to become an established part of the festival, in keeping with the stated aim of creating a “jazz community” and of attracting new audiences perhaps less inclined to take a punt on performances in the more formal indoor settings of the cultural centre. The move paid off handsomely in 2020, when the relaxed outdoor character of the festival, a mixture of live performances and big-screen streaming, made it one of the most joyous events to take place in the capital during the brief Covid-19 summer hiatus.

The renewed emphasis on providing a platform for Slovenian acts, in place from 2017 or so, is a further element of the festival’s attempt to build a jazz community, as well as to capitalise on what is something of a homegrown “golden generation”: Jure Pukl, Marko Črnčec, Igor Lumpert, Žiga Murko and Žan Tetičkovič in New York, Dré Hočevar and Kaja Draksler in Amsterdam, and Jani Moder, Kristijan Kranjčan, Cene Resnik, Igor Matković, Samo Šalamon and Boštjan Simon in Ljubljana. All have played the festival, solo or in various formations, since 2015. The 2019 and 2020 editions featured the Alphabet and Young Explorers series of concerts, which was curated by Dré Hočevar and showcased some of the young musicians clustered around the .abeceda Institute.

However, as the festival’s seventh decade gathers pace, the space remains very much open to new (and older) international avant-garde sounds in jazz and beyond: James Blood Ulmer, Evan Parker, Mats Gustafsson, Ken Vandermark, the Yussef Dayes Trio, Archie Shepp, Emilia Martensson, Shabaka Hutchings, Nasheet Waits, Hamid Drake, Paal Nilssen-Love and Moor Mother, to name only a few. While the new outdoor focus of the festival has led to a more intimate atmosphere, use continues to be made of CD’s indoor venues for marquee events: Gallus Hall in Cankarjev dom for the mammoth John Zorn Bagatelles Marathon in 2019, for example. In that same year, Križanke was also used for the first time since 2013 for a performance by US multi-genre ensemble Snarky Puppy.

Directors and curators

Bogdan Benigar became the festival director in 1999, working under artistic directors Oliver Belopeta (Skopje Jazz Festival, 2000–2004) and David Braun (2005–2008) before taking sole custody of the programme for two editions. He was then joined as co-curator by Pedro Costa (2011–2017) and Edin Zubčević (Jazz Fest Sarajevo 2018–).

Costa’s involvement also resulted in the ongoing Ljubljana Jazz Series of live recordings, released by Clean Feed Records of Lisbon, one of Europe’s most daring improvised music labels, and home to quite a number of Slovenia’s younger jazz generation. Eleven records have been released so far, with more expected. This follows on from a well-established festival tradition of live recording that stretches back 50 years and includes Cecil Taylor’s legendary Dark to Themselves album.

Literature

Living Literature Festival

10. 06. - 17. 06. 2022

Ljubljana

CONTACTS

Živa književnost

Stari trg 21 SI-1000, Ljubljana

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Organised each June by the ŠKUC Association, the Living Literature Festival is a literary and musical event staged on the pedestrian street in front of the ŠKUC Gallery in old town Ljubljana. The festival presents local and foreign writers, poets and musicians. The festival was initiated in 1994 by Andrej Morovič, a writer and a performer, and is one of the oldest admission-free events in Ljubljana with a view to popularising literature and music.

The festival happenings are open to all as they are held on the old square (Stari trg) in Ljubljana. Readings by Slovene and foreign authors, talks with the participating writers, translation workshops, discussions on literature and the fusion of music and literature feature in the programme.

An accompanying programme O’živela knjiga (The animated book) features book sales, creative workshops where discarded books are put to new uses, a street reading spot and book presentations. In the spirit of promoting literature to people of all ages, special activities, some of which are intended for children, are organised, namely creative writing workshops and meetings with the authors. In Škuc Gallery exhibitions are held as part of accompanying programme.

Museum of Contemporary Art Metelkova (MSUM)

Ljubljana

CONTACTS


Muzej sodobne umetnosti Metelkova (+MSUM)

Maistrova 3 SI-1000 , Ljubljana

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The Museum of Contemporary Art Metelkova (MSUM) opened in November 2011 in the renovated building of the former barracks complex on Metelkova Street – a complex which has grown into a new museum quarter, encompassing also the Slovene Ethnographic Museum and the National Museum of Slovenia – Metelkova. Together with the Moderna galerija (MG) (Museum of Modern Art), the new museum forms part of MG+MSUM, the acronym for Moderna galerija plus Muzej sodobne umetnosti Metelkova. The venue presents the permanent collection of Eastern European art, while the second floor is dedicated to curatorial projects and was the venue for the U3 Triennial of Contemporary Slovene Arts.

The new building houses also the Moderna galerija library, the museum’s extensive Modern art archive, a translation and publications department, and a conservation-renovation department.

Background

The idea of the new museum of contemporary art in Ljubljana evolved out of the Arteast Collection 2000+. Moderna galerija has been building this collection of predominantly Eastern European art based on the traditions of the avant-gardes since 1995. Since 2001 many international tours and loans of individual works of the Arteast Collection 2000+ have been organised, sending the artworks to exhibitions around Europe or to the USA (New York, Pittsburgh).

In April 2002 the director of Moderna galerija, Zdenka Badovinac, and the curator Igor Zabel conceived the mo(nu)ment Museum of Contemporary Art – Metelkova 22 programme. The initiative was articulated in the Resolution on the National Programme for Culture for 2004–2007 where it was stated that the renovated building at Metelkova 22 would serve as an exhibition space for contemporary visual art, managed by the Moderna galerija.

Until November 2011 when the museum opened, a line of Arteast Exhibitions and some public talks were organised to promote the idea of the collection and the new museum in Ljubljana.

Collections

International collection of the gallery is comprised of art works from the 1990s: Miroslaw Balka, Pedro Cabrita Reis, Cristina Iglesias, Anish Kapoor, Ulf Rollof, and others. The third line of the Moderna galerija international collection contains 136 works of 20th-century artists from the territories of former Yugoslavia, including important works by artists such as Jovan Bijelić, Dušan Džamonja, Oton Gliha, Ljubo Ivančić, Frano Kršinić, Petar Lubarda, Nikola Martinoski, Ivan Meštrović, Pedja Milosavljević, Miroslav Šutej, and Vladimir Veličković.

Moderna galerija houses the national collection of 20th century Slovene art (paintings, sculptures, prints and drawings as well as photography, video and electronic media collections).

e-flux video rental (EVR)

In 2010 Moderna galerija received the entire e-flux video rental (EVR) collection as a donation. EVR is a project by Anton Vidokle and Julieta Aranda, comprised of a video rental store, a public screening room, and a film and video archive with over 1000 works by 500 international artists. The works in the collection have been selected since 2004 by over 100 curators from all over the world.

L’Internationale project

L’Internationale is a confederation of seven major European modern and contemporary art institutions and partners. L’Internationale proposes a space for art within a non-hierarchical and decentralised internationalism, based on the values of difference and horizontal exchange among a constellation of cultural agents, locally rooted and globally connected. L’internationale works in collaboration with partners such as Valand Academy (VA, Göteborg, Sweden), and the National College of Art and Design (NCAD, Dublin, Ireland), along with associate organizations from the academic and artistic fields.

New Mappings of Europe

New Mappings of Europe is a two-year collaborative project of four different art and cultural institutions from Serbia, Slovenia, Austria and the United Kingdom, which will generate knowledge about the migrants’ cultural heritage in Europe and make cultural and art institutions more accessible to local communities of migrants of the first and second generations as well as to the new communities of asylum seekers and refugees.

The project will consist of co-curated exhibitions, accompanied by a rich public mediation programme, artist residencies, a common web platform, and an international conference. The aim of the project is twofold: on the one hand to deal with past phenomena related to migrations, and on the other, to link these phenomena to current migrations