BIEN is an art exhibition focusing on textile art and other related fields. Apart from exhibitions on various locations, from galleries to streets, it also hosts workshops, round tables and artist talks, and regularly offers guided tours. The exhibitions feature textile art, interior design, video art and various interdisciplinary projects.
The biennial promotes interdisciplinary collaborations, organises residencies, and presents works by international and domestic artists, both professionals and students. The projects presented at BIEN reflect on heritage, conservation and sustainability, drawing from the biological, geological and archaeological features of space, environment, identities, industrial heritage and traditional knowledge, and creating new contemporary expressions.
In 2023, BIEN connected four Slovenian cities: Kranj, Škofja Loka, Jesenice and Nova Gorica. The art exhibition, with its accompanying programme, centred on the topic of the sun as portrayed through textile and environmental art. The 2023 edition included the works of more than 100 artists, collectives, student productions and participants at the BIEN symposium.
The textile installation The Right to the Sunlight (2023) by Slovenian artist Teja Šter. While creating the artwork in the basement of the Kranj City Hall, the author explored her feelings of light deprivation in her daily workspace during the winter season. The limited view of the sky from the inner courtyard feels constricting yet hopeful. This led her to further investigate reflections that occur in the narrow streets of the old town centre in Kranj. They manifest in direct mirrored forms of windows and distorted layered composite shapes, together creating intriguing patterns on the facades.
BIEN is organised by Carnica Institute, the Faculty of Natural Sciences and Engineering of the University of Ljubljana, the Faculty of Design, an Associated Member of the University of Primorska, and other partners.
Carnica Institute is a cultural non-governmental organisation based in Kranj, Slovenia. Since it was established in 2010, the main activities of the Carnica Institute have been managing cultural public infrastructure, managing and organising cultural and social events, activities and campaigns, implementing the connections and collaborations between communities, cultural operators and local government, and developing and implementing cultural strategies. The activities of Carnica Institute are supported by European, national and local cultural funds.