Insufficient Chaos: NSK at MoMA

Interrupting Infinity Exclusive Commentary. © 2012 by David St.-Lascaux

NSK panel, MoMA, 2 February 2012

NSK panel, MoMA, 2 February 2012. From left: Charles Lewis, Gediminas Gasparavicius, Ana Janevski, Conor McGrady and Miran Mohar. Photo © 2012 Gabriella Radujko.

IN THE NO DOUBT COINCIDENTAL YEAR OF 1984, the IRWIN collective of Dušan Mandič, Miran Mohar, Andrej Savski, Roman Uranjek and Borut Vogelnik joined with the music group Laibach and Scipion Našice Sisters Theater to form the Neue Slowenische Kunst (German for “New Slovenian Art”) collective/”State,” a hybrid nation-state and creative state of mind. Similar to Fluxus in its informal structure, and to absurdist micronations in concept, NSK proceeded to issue passports (”not travel documents”; apparently the TSA is on to them), photograph its totalitarianesque crest (typically with soldiers standing in the foreground), and convene a congress in Berlin in 2010.

A collective dedicated to “the free states that we all carry around in our heads“; the “first global state of the universe.”

From February 1-3, 2012, MoMA is hosting IRWIN–NSK Passport Office, New York, the NSK State’s third “Citizens’ Rendezvous” in conjunction with with the exhibition Print/Out at the museum’s Print Studio, “an interactive space that explores the evolution of artistic practices relating to the medium of print.” On February 2, in a program introduced by Associate Educator Sarah Kennedy, Gediminas Gasparavicius, Charles Lewis, Conor McGrady and Mohar lectured and participated in a panel moderated by Associate Curator Ana Janevski.

According to the panelists, the self-proclaimed utopian, temporally (as opposed to spatially) sited NSK wishes to avoid the appearance of engagement with the issues of the day: globalization, mutual resource management, climate change responsibility, human health and dignity, and the implications of a borderless world, preferring instead to provoke thought about such issues and others, such as the relationship of art to power. If they ever do, perhaps they’ll consider the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights as a starting point.

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MoMA’s Print Studio also features the “Mid-Manhattan Branch” of Andrew Beccone’s Gowanus, Brooklyn-based Reanimation Library from January 23 to March 9, 2012, in the Lewis B. and Dorothy Cullman Education and Research Building (entrance on 54th Street). Beccone’s website is a treasure trove of librariana and links.

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One Response to “Insufficient Chaos: NSK at MoMA”

  1. S Kennedy says:

    Nice blog post. Just a little note, Print Studio (not Print/Out) is the space that features the “Reanimation Library: Mid-Manhattan Branch” from Jan. 23 to March 9 in Education Building. Thanks!

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