NSK Retrospective to Be Launched

Ljubljana, 11 May - The Moderna galerija in Ljubljana will launch a retrospective exhibition of Neue Slowenische Kunst (NSK), an acclaimed and controversial Slovenian art collective.

Exhibition dedicated to NSK open in Ljubljana.
Photo: Nebojša Tejić/STA

Exhibition dedicated to NSK open in Ljubljana.
Photo: Nebojša Tejić/STA

NSK exhibition is presented to the press.
Photo: Nebojša Tejić/STA

The legendary NSK art collective to get its first retrospective this year. Pictured a reinterpretation of a major Slovenian Impressionist work, Sejalec/The Sower.
Photo: Vesna Pusnik Brezovnik/STA

Legendary experimental band Laibach presenting events to celebrate the band's 30th anniversary.
Photo: Stanko Gruden/STA

The national museum of modern art started planning the "NSK: From Kapital to Capital" show in 2014, when NSK marked its 30th anniversary.

The collective, which had a major impact on the Yugoslav art scene in the 1980s, focused on the relationship between ideology and art in the West and East.

It sought to interpret political and social developments during the Cold War and later the rise of neo-liberalism with retro-avantgarde artistic methods, which often proved controversial.

The show's subtitle "NSK, an event of the final decade of Yugoslavia" symbolically shows NSK's opposition to the country's one-party socialist system and its impact on the transformation to a global capitalist society.

Curator Zdenka Badovinac told the press ahead of the opening that the show aimed to prove wrong the stereotype that NSK was critical only of socialism. The movement was just as critical of capitalism, she said.

The exhibition will focus on 12 most intensive years of cooperation among the various NSK groups, between 1980 and 1992, she added.

This will be the most comprehensive show on NSK to date featuring original works of art and documents plus archive materials of all NSK members between 1984 and 1992.

New Slovenian Art, as Neue Slowenische Kunst translates, was formed by multi-media music group Laibach, visual art group Irwin and the Scipion Nasice Sisters Theatre.

It then expanded to several more groups, including graphic design studio New Collectivism and the Department of Pure and Applied Philosophy.

Badovinac said that the individual groups within NSK are presented in the show through concerts, exhibitions, performances, among others.

This way she wants to show that the NSK individual works are comprehensive stand-alone units on the one hand and a part of ongoing processes on the other hand.

The exhibition is divided into three segments; the first focuses on the individual groups, the second on the NSK's three main founders and the third is about NSK's "Capital" projects, developed in the early 1990s.

The exhibition will be accompanied with a series of film screenings, lectures, talks and workshops and culminate with an international conference between 19 and 21 June.

Curated by museum boss Badovinac, Eda Čufer and Anthony Gardner, the exhibition will open at 8 PM with an address by Culture Minister Julijana Bizjak Mlakar.

It will run until 16 August, after which it will travel to Van Abbe museum in Eindhoven and the Garage in Moscow.

© STA, 2015