Ljubljana, Slovenia

Sachiko Kazama, Nonhuman Crossing, 2013, woodcut, 5' 8 7⁄8“ × 11' 8 3⁄4”. From the 33rd Ljubljana Biennial of Graphic Arts.

Sachiko Kazama, Nonhuman Crossing, 2013, woodcut, 5' 8 7⁄8“ × 11' 8 3⁄4”. From the 33rd Ljubljana Biennial of Graphic Arts.

33rd Ljubljana Biennial of Graphic Arts

Multiple Venues

Humor is political. From stinging ridicule that reveals more about the mockers than about the targets of their taunts to childlike silliness and drollery, all forms of humor showcase our common humanity. Yet shared laughter is also contradictory: It can divide as well as unite. This contradiction is a key point of departure in the work of the international art collective Slavs and Tatars, and it guided their curation of the Thirty-Third Ljubljana Biennial of Graphic Arts, “Crack Up-Crack Down.”

The art on view at the biennial’s nine venues offered plenty of evidence that the best satire—whether it critiques specific events, social states of affairs, or public figures—always also involves self-reflection and fun had at one’s own expense. Take The Aspergistan Referendum, 2019, which welcomed visitors at the International Centre of Graphic Arts, the show’s sprawling hub. Created by Hamja Ahsan,

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