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Ibrahim Mahama Appointed Artistic Director Of The 35th Ljubljana Biennale Of Graphic Arts

Ibrahim Mahama has been announced as the artistic director of the 35th Ljubljana Biennale of Graphic Arts by the International Centre of Graphic Arts.

Photo: Urška Boljkovac

The appointment arrives after the board noted Ghana’s solid connection to Yugoslavia between the late 1950s & 1966 and Mahama’s long interest in post-independence infrastructure in Ghana, iespecially in buildings that were part of a Nkrumah socialist programme to make Ghana self-sufficient became obvious.

Ibrahim Mahama sees the invitation to become the artistic director of the Ljubljana Biennale as a challenging opportunity to explore this part of history and reconnect some of the lost moments or voids of that time’s shared connection between Ghana and former Yugoslavia.

The artist announced that the next Ljubljana Biennale would be very simple and at the same time draw connections that have been lost or even probably never been made within its context. Mahama is very interested in (re-)establishing such connections and especially connecting the local Slovenian art community with artists abroad, thus creating intercontinental relations within the 35th Ljubljana Biennale of Graphic Arts.

Mahama’s best-known works involve draping entire buildings with a patchwork of reused jute sacks. He repurposes cocoa sacks that he finds in local markets in Ghana. He shows his works in Ghanaian markets as well as galleries. Through his choice of exhibition spaces, his works critically reflect on the value system inherent to these materials.

The Ljubljana Biennale of Graphic Arts is today a vibrant, constantly changing platform for artistic creation and critical analysis of societal events. It is characterized by the democratization of art and culture and, at the same time, elusive, overlapping forms of knowledge, experience, and practice.

The 35th edition of the Ljubljana Biennale, under artistic director Ibrahim Mahama, will be created in cooperation with a number of international partners (to be announced) and national partners inlcuding Cukrarna Gallery, a recently renovated sugar rafinery from 1828 that has served as a venue for both exhibiting and performing contemporary art since September 2021.

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