May 20, 2018
As many of the schoolchildren of Ljubljana, and elsewhere, took to the streets last Friday to celebrate graduation we felt older and more shut-in than ever, their merry cheers making the air vibrate in the headquarters of TSN and reminding us, once again, that time flies and we must seize the day for self-improvement, exploration, connection, creation and joy.
The days are still getting longer and the temperature is steadily rising, along with the occupancy rates of the hotels, hostels and private rental properties of dubious tax status around town. The city is coming alive, with ever more street performers, tour groups and selfie-sticks, and the pressure to go out and engage with the world, to make something of the day beyond a living – perhaps a life – is becoming too much to bear with stoic peace.
If you feel much the same but want to know what’s happening before putting on your shoes and stepping out then you’re in luck, as once again we present a small selection of events, attractions and happenings to be enjoyed in Ljubljana over the next seven days, with many more still hidden from these words, all the sweeter when discovered on your own with serendipity.
One big thing, happening in both the capital and Piran, is the Druga Godba festival, May 24-26, which is a series of concerts with an exciting line-up of international performers. The official website is here, and below is one the bands we’re most enthused about seeing, Kokoko!, from the Congo.
As ever, clicking on the venue name will get you more details with regard to the time, price and location, and if you want to get a Ljubljana Tourist Card, which gives you travel on the city buses and entry to a lot of attractions, then you can read more about that here.
You can read about all the cinemas in town here, while a selection of what’s playing this week is below, and note that kid’s movies tend to be shown in dubbed versions, so do check before driving out to a multiplex and dropping off the young ones. (And if you like watching trailers with Slovene subtitles, then catch up on some from earlier this year here.)
Kinodvor – The arts cinema not far from the train station, but still rather tucked away, is showing, among other features, LBJ, the comedy The Death of Stalin, the French language L'odyssée, about Jacques Cousteau, and the Spanish Una mujer fantástica, which won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film.
Kinoteka – The revival house is showing various classics, including Chaplin’s The Great Dictator and a season of Italian movies from the likes of Roberto Rossellini, Vittorio De Sica and Paolo Sorrentino, and Roberto Benigni, among others. There’s also a screening of Gaspar Noé’s trippy Enter the Void on Saturday night, which has the following super intense title sequence, with obligatory strobe/flash warning.
Kolosej – The multiplex out at BTC City Mall is playing all the big movies, which this week include Avengers: Infinity War, Deadpool 2, I Feel Pretty, Overboard, A Quiet Place, and Ready Player 1, with Solo: A Star Wars Story, providing fan service from Wednesday on.
Komuna – The cinema in a basement behind Nama department store is showing Deadpool 2, LBJ and Avengers: Infinity War.
Channel Zero – Monday night is the Seasplash Pre-Party, as presented by Dub Lab, featuring DJs Dubolik & Lo Peaks with Dr. Obi (live), along with support from Jahstice Sound.
Klub Cirkus – The more commercial end of clubland has DJ Chris Willsman on Friday, with Saturday then offering another chance to stay up all night and get lucky with Tutti Frutti: 90s & 00s Party Hits, with the beats supplied by Matthew Z vs Matteo Kunst.
Klub K4 – Friday has Obletnica w. FJAAK Live and many other acts on the bill. Saturday is then another edition of the K4 Techno Oldies Goldies night, featuring, among others, Dojaja, playing the sounds of the future from yesteryear.
Please note that public galleries and museums are closed on Mondays.
The Balassi Institute (The Cultural Centre of the Embassy of Hungary) – This is at Barvarska steza 8, Ljubljana, not far from Dragon Bridge, and hosts various events, but this week’s big event will be held a little further down the road, at the Palača Cukrarna disused sugar factory, Ambrožev trg 3, where Monday night, 21:30 will see the opening of another part of the Lighting Guerrilla festival.
Marko Batista, Barve v Gibanju - part of the Lighting Guerilla festival on around town
Cankerjev dom – Running until June 3 is an Art Critics' Choice show, featuring he work of Anka Krašna. Per the website “The current exhibition addresses female social exploitation through a diptych; two paintings and two representations of a woman. The body of the first woman is covered, she is wearing a burka or niqab that veils her face, leaving slits for the eyes, and she is thus watching us with a wide-eyed gaze. This figure is juxtaposed with a blindfolded nude woman, as the motif of the second painting.” Part of the image is shown below.
Anka Krašna - detail
Also at Cankerjev dom, and on until June 24, is a show with photographs of Ljubljana by Igor Andjelić, telling “a story about the artist’s embeddedness in Ljubljana’s urban existence, his intense engagement in the city’s artistic circles and street life.”
International Centre of Graphic Arts – Running until July 29 is David Lynch: Fire on Stage, presenting seventy lithographs from the director who’s made a fine career in movies on and on TV, with classics such as Eraserhead, Blue Velvet and Twin Peaks, but who started off as a painter and never left that world behind.
City Museum – On until June 2 is a show based on A Tombstone of a Veteran of Legio XV Apollinaris, which “brings new findings about the first generation of settlers in the Roman city of Iulia Emona.” The Museum also has a large permanent exhibition on the history of Ljubljana.
Galerija Kresija – Hosted by this gallery, but held at City Hall, at the Robba Fountain end of the Old Town, Tanja Pak: The Tales of a Breath, sculpture exhibition, running from May 9 until June 4. Per the publicity: “Tanja Pak is creatively committed to the artistic spatial installations and design of functional glass objects. Her project The Tales of a Breath is combining glass and ceramic sculptures into a comprehensive experience of a single narrative. In her work, she re-examines the questions of forms of our aloneness and vulnerability.”
Galerija Vžigalica – Running from May 11 until June 16, and held both in the gallery and in numerous streets and squares around town, is the annual festival of light, this year called Lighting Guerrilla: Colours. One of the featured artist in the gallery space will be Yoko Seyama, with Melody Dots 14 – Colour, while another is Aleksandra Stratimirović & Athanassios Danilof: Colour Wheels.
MAO – a show called Stanko Kristl: Poetry and Humanity in Architecture continues until May 27.
Moderna galerija – The main branch of this gallery, to found near the entrance to Tivoli Park, has a good collection of modern art, as well a nice café in the basement. For even more contemporary work you can take a trip to the Metelkova branch, which until June 24 has a retrospective on the work of Milenko Matanovič, as noted here.
Museum of Contemporary History – Renovation work means that the permanent Exhibition “Slovenians in the 20th Century” will temporarily lack the period from 1945-1990, but there are still interesting things to see about the recent past in this museum, set in Tivoli Park.
Mestna Galerija – A show called Tomislav Gotovac: Don't Ask Where We're Going is on until June 10.
National Gallery – Running until June 3 is an exhibition dedicated to Artists of the SAZU (he Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts), a great chance to see works from a wide range of Slovenian artists, and then to explore the larger collection of works on display.
National Museum of Slovenia – There’s a lull in the temporary shows, but still plenty to see in the permanent collection, from Roman times, Egypt and more.
Slovene Ethnographic Museum – There’s a number of permanent exhibitions here, and it’s conveniently located near one branch of the Moderna galerija and Metelkova.
FAMILIES & KIDS
Lean more about this happy fellow here. Photo: JL Flanner
If you want to learn more about Ljubljana Pride, then take a look at our interview with its president here.
Klub Monokel – No events are being promoted for the coming week, but that’s no reason not to head to this lesbian bar and see what’s happening, or pop into the friendly gay bar next door (and below).
Klub Tiffany – On Tuesday, 18:00, a lesbian-feminist university invites you to "Ubuntu / Linux Setup Entertainment”. Per the events page “At the workshop, we will get to know and install the latest version of the open source Ubuntu operating system (Bionic Beaver 18.04 LTS) on our computers”. You can apply to take part here. Then Thursday there’s the regular Roza Škis evening of card and board games.
As noted above, Druga Godba is the big music festival hitting town at the end of the week, May 24-26, with full details here.
Channel Zero – Saturday sees a night of EBM (electronic body music), industrial, techno, dark wave, and new beat from the Belgian group Mirexxx.
Gala Hala – On Wednesday the original line-up of Noctiferia will be playing a 20th anniversary show. On Wednesday you can see MRFY live. Then Saturday you can enjoy another Rapetek event, this one a performance by the winners of the Young Rapetek 2018 competition, with rapping, DJing and beatboxing.
Klub Gromka – Saturday night you can see Darkfall and Nature live, with the promise of “melodic death metal”.
Kino Šiška – Friday night, and as part of the Druga Godba festival, you can see a live show by Ibeyi.
Koncertna Dvorana Rog – The alternative to Metelkova, which should be closing down ‘soon’, is hosting a techno and psytrance all-nighter on Friday, including an early morning set from Sub Maze.
Slovenska filharmonija – Thursday night there a concert by the Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra, with the conductor Vladimir Ivanovich Fedoseyev and pianist Nikolai Demidenko, playing some Mussorgsky, Medtner, and Tchaikovsky, including the following piece.
OPERA, THEATRE, DANCE
Cankerjev dom – Tuesday night there’s dance in the form of Compagnie Käfig: Pixel.
Klub Gromka – The wonderful Image Snatchers Technoburlesque show returns Thursday night, with music, dancing, comedy and some nudity.
Pocket Teater Studio – Friday night sees the return of the wildly successful Noches de tablao, with flamenco music, dance and poetry. The venue is tiny, the show is intimate, wine and tapas are provided, and booking is essential.
SNG Opera and Ballet – Your chance to see Verdi’s Macbeth on Tuesday and Thursday, while Rossini’s Cinderella will be performed on Saturday.
Arena Stožice – Wednesday, 16:00, Olimpija NK will play a game of football with Krško.
Every Friday through the warmer months there’s the Open Kitchen in Ljubljana Market, where you can try food and drink from some the biggest names in town, and you can read more about it here.
Breg Embankment, just opposite the Old Town and by the river, has a small flea market open every Sunday morning. Learn more about it here.
If you’re in town and want to go jogging or walking in nature, why not take another look at the Castle, with a brief guide to the trails here. If you want something bigger, head to Tivoli Park.
Kino Šiška – Tuesday night, from 20:00–22:00, there’s an event about women and Slovenian comic books / graphic novels, with a lecture by Iztok Sitar. On Saturday, as part of the Druga Godba festival, there’s an event called FundaMENT Serial #6: Francis de Souza (Earth Beat Amsterdam), where you can hear Mr de Souza speak about his work in English.
Ziferblat – Thursday 17:30 there’s a Taste of Yoga, and on Friday, 17:00, you can try and kill the king at Chess Club (read more about this pay-by-the-minute café here, and note that it’s due to close forever May 27).
Cankerjev dom – The astonishing Franco Fagioli, one of the world’s leading countertenors and a fantastic performer, will be singing selections from his beloved Handel and Vivaldi on Saturday June 2, accompanied by the Venice Baroque Orchestra. The next piece isn’t on the menu, but is a good example of the magic and wonder the audience should be in for.