The world has been running on steroids. Nature is privatized and cheapened. Our voracious extraction and consumption of resources have created an ecological debt gone default. Acceleration and gigantism have shaped a metabolic cycle between capital and nature, North and South, rich and poor, clean and polluted, with greed and hypertrophy on one end and exhaustion on the other. There is a global freak show going on, a spectacle of disproportion and distortion reminiscent of those 19th century displays of deformed humans and animals. Only now it happens on a planetary scale and we’re all in it. At times, it seems as if the vicious comedy of the freak show might be the appropriate response to our present-day monstrosity.

Can the planetary imaginary be refueled with humor, satire and conviviality? Be it to figure out how to go through collapse as humanly as possible, or to reconsider how much is enough and what constitutes good living. Economy of Means as a biennial theme stands for a shift towards caring and maintenance instead of show business; for looking into society, but also looking at art, its modes of production and means of expression, where brief, economical and simple are part of the punchline delivery.

Climate anxiety was nominated as one of top ten words of 2021. Is the glass half-full or half-empty? Artist Agnes Denes once said that creativity is hope. At a moment of global dysphoria, gestures and efforts that point towards the humanization of the world might be what helps us get out of bed day after day (a simple pandemic takeaway.) Once awake, the possible actions and responses are endless.

The pandemic put the care paradigm on the agenda. It also made visible the link between social inequalities and wealth concentration and reiterated that addressing security, economy, ecology is futile without the prefix socio-. “Social or ecological” is not an antinomy and social issues should not make an excuse for economic reactivation based on more of the same.

Solidarity between humans is not enough. What is needed is solidarity between humans and non-humans. And it might be just about time to figure out if plants laugh and what jokes clouds tell.

The Biennial consists of two juried exhibitions - one for cartoons and one for contemporary art - and a curated exhibition, titled Sensitivity Training which, for the 25th edition, will be curated by the artist Olav Westphalen.

The Biennial will open on 20th May 2022 at the Museum of Humor and Satire in Gabrovo. The exhibitions continue until 30th September 2022.

The Biennial is organized by the Museum of Humor and Satire with the support of the Municipality of Gabrovo and the Bulgarian Ministry of Culture.

Exhibitions

Cartoons Exhibition

80 cartoons selected by a jury with chairman Niels Bo Bojesen and members Alla Georgieva, Anne Derenne, Antonio Antunes and Rayma Suprani

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Contemporary Art Exhibition

39 works selected by a jury with members Diana Campbell Betancourt, Luca Lo Pinto and Yung Ma

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Sensitivity Training Exhibition, curated by Olav Westphalen

A part of the 25th Gabrovo Biennial of Humor and Satire in Art Museum of Humor and Satire, Gabrovo, May 20 to September 30, 2022 Goethe Institut, Sofia, May 18 to June 17, 2022

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News & Events

Тhe winners of the 25th Gabrovo Biennial

We are proud to announce the winners of the 25th Gabrovo Biennial.

Jury

Cartoons section

Rayma Suprani

Rayma Suprani is a Venezuelan cartoonist. She graduated in Journalism at the Universidad Central de Venezuela and has worked for various newspapers based in Caracas. From 1995 to 2014 she published her cartoons daily in Venezuela’s most important newspaper El Universal, when she was fired over the political content of one of her cartoons. Threatened many times for her work, she left Venezuela and settled in the United States. She continued to create and publish cartoons on her website and social media. 

Suprani had her first solo exhibition in 2012 followed by exhibitions in Miami, Houston, Madrid and Barcelona. She works in a variety of drawing techniques, such as graphite, watercolor, acrylic, ink and digital media. She was awarded the Interamerican Society Press Prize (2005), Pedro Leon Zapata Prize as Venezuela Best Cartoonist (2000, 2009), and the Vaclav Havel International Prize for Creative Dissent at the Oslo Freedom Forum 2019. She is one of the protagonists of the documentary Caricaturists, Fantassins de la Democratie at the Maps to the Stars premiere at the 67th Cannes Film Festival in 2014. One of her biggest achievements is surviving breast cancer, which she was diagnosed with in 2020. Now she is completely healthy and dedicated to the work she loves.


Niels Bo Bojesen

Niels Bo Bojesen is a Danish editorial cartoonist. He is a graduate of the Danish School of Design and attended the School of Visual Arts, department of Media Arts, New York. He draws editorial cartoons for the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten, for international websites, newspapers and magazines. Bojesen is represented by CartoonArts International, Cartoon Movement, United Sketches and Cagle Cartoons/Political Cartoons. He is a member of the Scientific Council of Centro Librexpression - Fondazione Giuseppe Di Vagno, Italy; the Danish Association of Journalists and the Danish Association of Editorial Cartoonists; the board of The Museum of Danish Cartoon Art. 

Among his prizes are the award of excellence at the World Humor Awards (2019), Golden Aesop Grand Prix in Gabrovo (2019), award of excellence and second prize at the World Press Freedom International Editorial Cartoon Competition (2019 and 2017), second prize at the United Nations/Ranan Lurie Political Cartoon Award (2017). Winner of the Pentel Prize - Cartoonist of the Year (2017) and the contest of the European Commission Una Vignetta per L’Europa (2016). 


António Antunes

António Antunes graduated in painting from Escola Artística António Arroio in Lisbon. His first cartoons appeared in the daily newspaper República in March 1974 and since then he has collaborated with the weekly Expresso. He is the author of Figuras de Lisboa (Figures of Lisbon) in the Lisbon Airport underground station - 50 caricatures of personalities from the political, cultural and artistic life of the city. He is curator of Cartoon Xira and director of the World Press Cartoon.

Antunes has had solo exhibitions in Portugal, Brazil, Germany, Spain, France, China and Holland. Among his prizes are Grand Prix and 1st Prize for Editorial Cartoon at the International Salon of Cartoons (Montreal, 1983 and 1986), Gazeta de Cartoon Prize (Lisbon, 1992), Grand Prix of Honour of the XV Festival du Dessin Humoristique (Anglet, 1993), Award of Excellence - Best Newspaper Design, SND (Stockholm, 1995), Premio Internazionale Satira Politica (ex-æquo, Forte dei Marmi, 2002), Grande Prémio Stuart Carvalhais (Lisbon, 2005), Prix Presse Internationale (St. Just-le-Martel, 2010) and Prémio Gazeta de Mérito (Lisbon, 2018). 


Alla Georgieva

Alla Georgieva was born in Ukraine. A graduate of the Kharkiv Academy of Art and Design, she works in tandem with husband Chavdar Georgiev in the field of cartoon and contemporary art. She has been a regular entrant in the Gabrovo Biennial of Humour and Satire in Art since 1983. The cartooning tandem Alla and Chavdar have solo exhibitions in Bulgaria, Ukraine and Northern Macedonia and their works have appeared in Szpilki, Eulenspiegel, Witty World, Cartoon magazine, the Bulgarian Economist, and Starshel newspaper. From 2011 until 2016 they worked for Novinar daily. Both are founding members and contributors to Pras Press newspaper and contributors to politicalcartoon.com, run by Daryl Cagle.

They are winners of myriad national and international awards among which second prize for painting at the 10th Gabrovo Biennial (1991), Grand Prix for cartoon given by the Union of Bulgarian Artists (2008), the prize of Sofia Municipality at the 35th National Cartoon Exhibition (2010), and the special prize in section Contemporary Art at the 23rd Gabrovo Biennial (2017).


Anne Derenne

Anne Derenne (alias ADENE) is a French cartoonist and illustrator based in Madrid, Spain. She studied international economics and received a master’s degree in development economics in 2006. In 2011 she began her career as a freelance cartoonist.

Her work has been published in many different magazines and newspapers (Le Monde, Le Temps, Le Pèlerin, Nectart etc.) and she collaborates on a regular basis with international organizations, NGOs and associations such as UNESCO, Greenpeace, Amnesty International. She has won numerous international prizes for her artwork, most recently the first prize in the European Cartoon Awards in 2020.





Contemporary art section

Yung Ma

Yung Ma is currently curator at the Hayward Gallery in London. In 2021 he was the artistic director for the 11th Seoul Mediacity City Biennale, which took place at the Seoul Museum of Art (SeMA). Prior to Seoul, Ma served as curator of the Contemporary Art and Prospective Creation Department at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, where he organised or co-organised the solo exhibition HX by Cao Fei (2019), the group exhibition Chine-Afrique (2020), and the collection display Global(e) Resistance (2020). He was previously associate curator of moving image at M+, Hong Kong, where he developed the institution’s moving image collection. While at M+, he also conceived the M+ Screenings series (2016–) as well as exhibitions such as Mobile M+: Moving Images (2015). Ma was twice Co-Curator of the Hong Kong Pavilion at the Venice Biennale (2009 and 2013). 


Luca Lo Pinto

Luca Lo Pinto (1981) is the artistic director of MACRO - Museum of Contemporary Art of Rome. From 2014 till 2019 he worked as curator of Kunsthalle Wien. He is co-founder of the magazine and publishing house NERO. He produced a range of solo exhibitions with artists including Simone Forti, Nathalie du Pasquier, Jason Dodge, Tony Cokes, Camille Henrot, Olaf Nicolai, Pierre Bismuth, Babette Mangolte,  Lawrence Weiner, Gelatin & Liam Gillick, Charlemagne Palestine as well as publications with Emilio Prini, Mario Garcia Torres and Mario Diacono. Other curatorial projects include Io, Luca Vitone (PAC, Milan), 16th Art Quadriennale (Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Rome), Le Regole del Gioco (Achille Castiglioni Studio-Museum, Milan); Trapped in the closet (Carnegie Library/FRAC Champagne Ardenne, Reims), Antigrazioso (Palais de Tokyo, Paris); AnderSennoSogno (H.C. Andersen Museum, Rome); D’après Giorgio (Giorgio de Chirico Foundation, Rome); Conversation Pieces (Mario Praz Museum, Rome). His essays have been published in many catalogues and international magazines. In 2012 he edited the book Documenta 1955-2012. The endless story of two lovers.


Diana Campbell Betancourt

Diana Campbell Betancourt (1984) is an American curator who has been working in South and Southeast Asia since 2010, primarily in India, Bangladesh and the Philippines. In 2012 she co-curated the Mumbai City Pavilion for the 9th Shanghai Biennial. Since 2013, she has served as the Founding Artistic Director of Dhaka-based Samdani Art Foundation, Bangladesh, and Chief Curator of the Dhaka Art Summit, leading the 2014, 2016, 2018, and 2020 editions. She is also responsible for developing the Samdani Art Foundation collection and drives its international collaborations ahead of opening the foundation’s permanent home, Srihatta, the Samdani Art Centre and Sculpture Park in Sylhet. Campbell Betancourt was also the Founding Artistic Director of Bellas Artes Projects in the Philippines, a non-profit international residency and exhibition programme with sites in Manila and Bataan, and curated Frieze Projects in London for the 2018 and 2019 editions of the fair. She chairs the board of the Mumbai Art Room. Her writing has been published by Mousse, Frieze, Art in America, and the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) among others.