NSK State Pavilion – 57th Venice Biennale 2017
11 May – 15 July 2017
Inaugural lecture by Slavoj Žižek: Thursday 11 May 2017, 5pm
NSK State in Time is delighted to announce the launch of the NSK State Pavilion, occurring in the context of the 57th Venice Biennale, which will open with an inaugural lecture by prolific philosopher, psychoanalyst and critic Slavoj Žižek.
NSK State in Time was founded by artist collective Neue Slowenische Kunst (NSK) in 1992. It was conceived as a utopian formation, which would have no physical territory and would not be identified with any existing nation state. Along with organising temporary embassies and consulates in cities such as Moscow, Berlin, Florence, Sarajevo and New York, NSK State in Time began issuing passports in 1993. There are currently about 15,000 NSK Passport holders around the world, with well known citizens including Marina Abramović, John Baldessari, Boris Groys, Hans Ulrich Obrist and Slavoj Žižek.
The NSK State Pavilion will provide an added and new dimension to NSK State in Time, built upon a collaboration with migrant communities, humanitarian protection applicants, and stateless individuals who are looking for new citizenship. With the unique opportunity of the Venice Biennale, the project aims to rethink what a contemporary state can be, offering an open form of citizenship which contrasts with that generated by spatially-defined states.
The Pavilion does not stand in opposition to the national structure of the Venice Biennale, but rather seeks to stand as an independent Pavilion that will redefine the idea of the state and proffer a new type of citizenship. It will engage with a range of issues that most trouble current contemporary states – migration, citizenship, heritage and identity – and generate ideas from a wide spectrum of individuals about how to build new collectivities and shared histories across national borders, looking beyond Europe’s current fragmentation and inner antagonisms.
Commissioned by artist collective IRWIN (Dušan Mandič, Miran Mohar, Andrej Savski, Roman Uranjek and Borut Vogelnik), the project is curated by Zdenka Badovinac and Charles Esche, and is directed by Mara Ambrožič. In total it will involve contributions from more than 200 individuals, including citizens of NSK State in Time, artists, philosophers, students, young art professionals, cultural institutions, social cooperatives, and international universities.
NSK citizen and contemporary artist Ahmet Öğüt has been invited to shape the installation of the Pavilion, where the notion of statehood, and the definition of citizenship and its related bureaucracy, are questioned through the conceptual and physical experience of gravity. To enhance the understanding of these issues, 100 different individuals were asked by NSK Delegates to respond to a questionnaire about their views on Europe.
The NSK Delegates were, among others: Bisan Abu Eisheh, Azra Akšamija, Djordje Balzamović, Safia Dickersbach, Claudio Donadel, Michael Fehr, Róza El-Hassan, Kendell Geers, Sarah Lunaček, Sohrab Mohebbi, Victor Mutelekesha, Ahmet Öğüt and Malina Suliman. The questions were:
1) What do you want to take with you from European heritage (as you understand it) to help build a new and better world?
2) What do you want to forget or delete from European heritage (as you understand it) to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past?
3) What do you want to take with you from the heritage of your own country (as you understand it) to help build a new and better world?
4) What do you want to forget or delete from the heritage of your own country (as you understand it) to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past?
The Pavilion space will be experienced in two parts: a room of ‘global disorder’ including over 100 responses from contributors, and an NSK Passport office where passports will be issued. The NSK State Pavilion will be equally governable by its community from sans-papiers to migrants and citizens. For this specific occasion, an apology was written on behalf of the liberal western world to the refugees, as well as to those who were unable to chose to not to flee, in collaboration with the scientific consultancy of Tomaž Mastnak.
Additional to launching a book, a newspaper and a seminar for the students of the MA in Visual Arts at the IUAV University of Venice, NSK State in Time will also open also a collateral premise NSK State Venice Pavilion in Vienna, in the context of Wiener Festwochen, curated by Birgit Lurz and Wolfgang Schlag, presenting an installation by Ramesch Daha and Anna Jermolaewa.
Made possible thanks to the collaboration of Blaž Peršin and to the co-production of MGML – Museum and Galleries of Ljubljana, the project is commissioned and produced by IRWIN and co-organised by Temple Productions of Paris and Društvo NSK informativni center.
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NOTES TO EDITORS
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NSK State Pavilion will take place at Palazzo Ca’ Tron, IUAV University, Calle del Forno 1957 (nearest Vaporetto: San Stae)
11 May – 15 July 2017
Monday – Saturday: 11am – 7pm.
Closed on Sundays.
The Pavilion is commissioned and produced by IRWIN, co-produced by MGML – Museum and Galleries of Ljubljana and co-organised by Temple Productions and Društvo NSK informativni center.
Project partners are Galerija Gregor Podnar, Berlin; Ministry of Culture of Republic of Slovenia; Wiener Festwochen GesmbH, Vienna; Municipality of Ljubljana – Cultural Department; IUAV University of Venice; e-flux, New York; James Gallery/The Center for the Humanities, NYU, New York; Co.Ge.S. – Cooperative for immigration policies, Mestre; NSK State Reserve, New York.
The project was also made possible by the generous support of KD Group d.d.; RPS d.o.o., Ljubljana; VO-KA, Ljubljana; Stratkom d.o.o., Ljubljana; UBT University, Prishtina; OCA Office for Contemporary Art Norway; Pavilion of the Republic of Kiribati.
Graphic design by New Collectivism and Archive Books.
General Coordination by Sanja Kuveljić Bandić.
The Editorial and artistic team initiated by Temple Productions is comprised of Lucia Coco, Cédric Fauq, Chiara Gaspardo and Andrej Škufca.
About NSK State in Time
NSK State in Time is defined as an abstract organism, a suprematist body, installed in a real social and political space as a sculpture comprising the concrete body warmth, spirit and work of its members. It confers the status of a state not to a territory but to the mind. Consequentially, NSK State in Time is inherently transnational and posited at a cross section between fiction and reality.
NSK State in Time was created in 1992 by the groups comprising the Slovene collective Neue Slowenische Kunst (NSK). Amongst others, these included the groups IRWIN, Laibach, Cosmokinetic Cabinet Noordung, New Collectivism and the Department of Pure and Applied Philosophy. The NSK State itself is a collective cultural work, formed by both the iconography and statements of its founders and its citizens’ responses to these and to the existence of the state.
Inaugural lecture by Slavoj Žižek
NSK citizens are invited to a free lecture by Slavoj Žižek on Thursday 11 May 2017 at 5pm, at Aula Magna Tolentini, IUAV University of Venice, Santa Croce 191 (nearest Vaporetto: Piazzale Roma). Non-citizens can also take part in the lecture, but they will require a NSK temporary Visa, which they will get at the entrance hall, following registration at: www.nsk-state-pavilion.org.
About Slavoj Žižek
Slavoj Žižek is a Christian atheist, Hegelian philosopher, Lacanian psychoanalyst, and Communist political theorist. His work tries to re-found dialectical materialism through a Lacanian reading of German Idealism. He also deals with the critical diagnostics of contemporary capitalism and of the twists and turns of today's ideology. He works as a Researcher at Birkbeck College, University of London and is Visiting Professor at NYU, New York City, as well as Kyung Hee University, Seoul. His latest publications are Disparities (London 2016), Antigone (London 2016) and The Courage of Hopelessness (London 2017).
About the exhibition
NSK State Pavilion is curated by Zdenka Badovinac and Charles Esche, who conceived the exhibition in two different parts. The first part, ‘An Apology’, prepared with Tomaž Mastnak, is a different kind of apology as it seeks not only to confess the past, but also to have an impact on the future. The second space, entitled ‘New Symbolic Disorder’, will present the responses of 100 different individuals that were invited by NSK Delegates to respond to a questionnaire regarding general and personal issues about people’s individual perspectives on Europe; from this archive of answers, will emerge an image that is at once universal and extremely personal. Thus, the installation opens up to a variety of connections and histories, as an open archive of experiences, ideas and hopes.
Following the results of the project, a publication titled The Final Countdown: Europe, Refugees and the Left will be edited by Jela Krečič. The collected essays include contributions from some of the most powerful theoretical minds of our time, including Boris Buden, Mladen Dolar, Saroj Giri, Boris Groys, Agon Hamza, Jamil Khader, Robert Pfaller, Frank Ruda, Slavoj Žižek and Alenka Zupančič.
Newspaper and Website
A newspaper will be freely distributed during the whole exhibition period. It will include contributions by theorist Eda Čufer, one of the founding members of NSK, Delegates Róza El-Hassan (artist) and Claudio Donadel (specialist of migration policies). A collective platform and more materials about the project will be available online on the Pavilion’s website www.nsk-state-pavilion.org.
Workshops and Meetings
Over the course of one year, a series of rigorous symposiums took place with local cooperatives in the Veneto region, including academics, social workers, NGOs, universities and those seeking humanitarian protection. This collateral activity intended to build an open and constructive dialogue concerning the issues of humanitarian protection raised by NSK State Pavilion. The result of these symposiums will be published as Beyond Borders, a comprehensive proposal for a reception policy, a transnational reception model for asylum seekers that will be freely available online. Seekers of humanitarian protection will also be directly involved in the running of NSK State Pavilion.
IUAV Lab with IRWIN group
Designed together with the Master of Visual Arts of the IUAV University of Venice – directed by Angela Vettese – this three-week workshop held by IRWIN group between June 25 and July 14 2017 will lead students to reflect upon art in relation to politics based upon the case of NSK State in Time.
NSK State Venice Pavilion in Vienna – Thinking Europe
As a parallel project to the NSK State Pavilion in Venice, NSK State in Time will be opening a Pavilion in Vienna. The NSK State Venice Pavilion in Vienna – Thinking Europe, curated by Birgit Lurz and Wolfgang Schlag, will present the installation ‘Europe’ by Ramesch Daha and Anna Jermolaewa and a temporary NSK Passport office. The Pavilion will be open during Wiener Festwochen at ARCC.art Open Space Vienna, 17 May – 11 June 2017, Tuesday – Sunday, 2pm – 9pm. Opening: 16 May 2017, 7pm. The accompanying lecture The Final Countdown: Europe in The Valley of Decision by Slavoj Žižek will be held on 20 May 2017, 6.30pm. For more information www.festwochen.at/en or contact Anne Zimmermann | email@example.com | www.festwochen.at | +43 1 589 22 330 | Facebook: @wienerfestwochen | Twitter: @WienFestwochen.
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For local and regional press enquiries, please contact:
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Comesta IUAV; IUAV University of Venice – email@example.com | www.iuav.it | +39 041 257 1819 | Facebook: @UniversitaIuavDiVenezia | Twitter: @iuav