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Neue Slowenische Kunst

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Neue Slowenische Kunst (NSK), from the German for "New Slovenian Art" is a controversial political arts collective originating from Trbovlje, Slovenia in 1984. At that time Slovenia was part of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

NSK's best-known member is the industrial music group Laibach. Other NSK group include IRWIN (painting), Noordung (theater), New Collective Studio (graphics; also known as New Collectivism), Retrovision (film and video), and the Department of Pure and Applied Philosophy (philosophy). [State of Art, 2004], [Hackett, 2004], [1], [2], [3] The founding groups of NSK were Laibach, Irwin, and Scipion Nasice Sisters Theater, which later became Noordung. [4], [5] The theatrical arm of NSK has also gone under the name Red Pilot.

Both IRWIN and Laibach are emphatic about their work being collective rather than individual. Laibach's original songs and arrangements are always credited to the group collectively; the individual artists are not named on their record jackets or CD sleeves; at one point, there were even two separate Laibach groups touring at the same time, both with members of the original group. Similarly, the IRWIN artists never sign their work individually: instead, they are "signed" with a stamp or certificate indicating approval as a work from the Irwin collective.

NSK art often draws on symbols drawn from totalitarian or extreme nationalist movements, often reappropriating totalitarian kitsch in a visual style reminiscent of Dada. NSK artists often juxtapose symbols from different (and often incompatible) political ideologies. For example, a 1987 NSK-designed poster that caused a scandal by winning a competition for the Yugoslavian Youth Day Celebration appropriated a painting by Nazi artist Richard Klein, replacing the flag of Nazi Germany with the Yugoslav flag and the German eagle with a dove. [Hackett, 2004]

Since 1991, NSK claims to constitute a state[6], a claim similar to that of micronations. They issue passports [7], [8], and have presented shows of their work in the guise of an embassy [9], [10] or even as territory of their supposed state [11]; they maintain consulates in Florence, Italy [12] and Umag, Croatia [13]; and have issued postage stamps. [14]

The NSK were the subject of a 1996 documentary written and directed by Michael Benson, entitled Prerokbe Ognja in Slovenian, or Predictions of Fire in English. [15]

External links

References

  • Anonymous, "State of Art: the new Slovene Avant Garde" (2004). Northwest Film Forum and Scala House, program for exhibit November 18-24, 2004 at Northwest Film Forum, Seattle.
  • Regina Hackett, "Slovenian art collective is adept at working politics and art". Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Friday, November 19, 2004.

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