Tradition anew!
Biennale of Western Balkans, Ioannina, Greece

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Textile Stories (2021) – BIEN 2021 and Maria Juliana Byck

5 – 20.8.2021


Over three weeks social practice artist Maria Juliana Byck investigated the embedded social, cultural and emotional implications of textiles in Kranj. Holding a wealth of intergenerational wisdom, textiles contain a complex network of history, materials, production techniques, fluctuating values, and undulating desires. Each textile contains a story, which is often forgotten or trivialized, yet carries traces of movement, innovation, dreams and exchange. Textiles are a means of understanding the politicization, commodification and globalization of our lives, carried on our bodies and residing in our homes, while intimate, personal and every day, they are simultaneously intrinsically public and communal.




This interactive installation is the result of people from Kranj and the surrounding region sharing the stories of textiles in their lives. Kranj was one of the most important centers of textile manufacturing in the former Yugoslavia. Yet now little remains of this history. This installation offers the chance to reflect on how things have changed and explore the implications of Kranj’s textile stories.
We all have stories to tell, stories we have lived from the inside out. We give our experiences an order. We organize the memories of our lives into patterns to make meaning. The installation is a collection of stories to be shared and expanded upon. Your stories and the stories of the people around you are unique, valuable treasures.

The stories do not end. You are invited to add your stories, questions, ideas, memories and dreams.




Many thanks to all who participated in creating this project, especially:

Anja Podreka, Lidija Tolič, Matevž Oman, Hilda Oman, Marička Rakovec, Marija Govednik, Boris Pertot, Bojan Šibenik, Chiara Bonfiglioli, Tina Pavlin, Tjaša Bavcon, Nina Arnuš, Gorenjska Museum: Mateja Likozar, Tjaša Šoštarič, Tatjana Dolžan Eržen, Artemis Papageorgiou and the team at Biennale of the Western Balkans, Neža Mlakar, Miha Marenčič, Zala Orel (BIEN 2021)


Maria Juliana Byck is a social practice artist originally from California, now based in Athens Greece.