christian berstart brut
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The 28th Biennial of Design (BIO28), which celebrates its 60th anniversary this year, will take place between November 21, 2024 and April 6, 2025. It is organized by the Museum of Architecture and Design (MAO) and the Centre for Creativity (CzK), with the curatorial concept developed by professor and curator Alexandra Midal together with Emma Pflieger, assistant curator. This year’s biennial represents an important milestone in sixty years of development in the field of design.

Political, bold, vibrant, and provocative, Double Agent: Do You Speak Flower? examines the figure of floriography, a code hidden within flowers to transmit secret information. The core of this transdisciplinary and multifaceted exhibition scrutinizes the pivotal role of floriography used by women to portray their identities. In that sense, flowers pave the way for antagonistic and alternative interpretations of both the meanings and the context in which they are decrypted.

The exhibition draws on critical theory to define self-identification as an aesthetic and political act that resonates with vanquished, marginalized, forgotten, or invisible minorities. Given that flowers represent both the commodification of women into an idealized beauty paradigm and serve as a feminist, anti-colonial, gender, and queer cryptology, the title Double Agent: Do You Speak Flower? reflects this dual perspective. The Biennial displays an ongoing investigation that questions the role of the exhibition in providing answers, and instead wishes to open a series of conversations with designers, artists and the public.

Anna Zemánková
anna zemankova - © christian berst — art brut

It was in the early 1960s that this Moravian woman began producing a body of work for which her humble background had not prepared her and which responded strikingly to injunctions from the innermost depths. Thus, at a time when the demons of the night were still competing with the seminal iridescence of dawn, she would gather strange flowers in her mind before drawing them forth on paper. ‘‘I grow flowers that don’t grow anywhere else,’’ she used to say. Anna Zemánková is already an established figure in the art brut, so much so that in 2013 she was honored at the 55th Venice Biennale before an important group of her works joined the collections of the Centre Pompidou and the Boston Museum of Fine Arts in 2020.

Anna Zemánková presented in the exhibition BIO28: Double Agent in Ljubljana

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