Inaugural Lecture by Slavoj Žižek: The Final Countdown: Europe in The Valley of Decision /NSK State Pavilion/

Slavoj Žižek at NSK State Pavilion – 57th Venice Biennale 2017 11 May – 15 July 2017

The Final Countdown: Europe in The Valley of Decision

NSK State in Time was founded by artist collective Neue Slovenische Kunst (NSK) in 1992, conceived as a utopian formation without physical territory and identifying with no existing nation state. The NSK State Pavilion will add a new dimension to NSK State in Time, through collaboration with migrant communities, humanitarian protection applicants and stateless individuals.
The Pavilion does not stand in opposition to the national structure of the Venice Biennale, but as an independent Pavilion, and seeks to redefine ideas of the state and proffer a new type of citizenship. It will engage with a range of issues that trouble current contemporary states—migration, citizenship, heritage and identity—and generate ideas about how to build new collectivities and shared histories across national borders beyond Europe’s current fragmentation.

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 directed by Mara Ambrožič. It will involve contributions from more than 200 individuals, including citizens of NSK State in Time, artists, philosophers, students, art professionals, cultural institutions, social cooperatives, and international universities. A book and newspaper will also be launched, alongside a seminar for Visual Art MA students at the IUAV University of Venice.

NSK citizen and contemporary artist Ahmet Öğüt has been invited to shape the installation of the Pavilion, where the notion of state, and the definition of citizenship and its related bureaucracy, are questioned through the conceptual and physical experience of gravity. The space will be experienced in two parts: a room of "global disorder" including over 100 responses to a questionnaire asked by NSK Delegates about views on Europe, and an NSK passport office where passports will be issued.
The NSK State in Time Pavilion in Venice will be governable by its community, from sans-papiers to migrants and citizens. An apology for modernity forms one part of the project, written on behalf of the liberal western world to refugees, as well as those who were unable to choose not to flee. It was prepared in collaboration with the scientific consultant Tomaž Mastnak.

The NSK Pavilion is an independent project, commissioned and produced by IRWIN, co- produced by the Museum and Galleries of Ljubljana, and co-organised by Temple Productions, Paris and Društvo NSK Informativni center, Ljubljana.



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