Irwin / NSK


To trigger ambiguous situations at politically sensitive moments (the crisis of the Yugoslavian federation and the subsequent war amongst its member states), using German names and a totalitarian aesthetic: this was the strategy of the NSK (Neu Slowenische Kunst = New Slovenian Art). Now considered one of the landmarks of European arts experimentation in the last twenty years, NSK began working in 1984 as an umbrella for various radical groups that shared a provocative approach and a similar style of expression in different media: music (the group Laibach), visual art (Irwin), graphic design (Novi Kolektivizem), theatre (Scipion Nasice) and philosophy (the department of Pure and Applied Philosophy). The artists who form the collective Irwin are the visual biographers of NSK: their work, framed within the tradition of totalitarian regimes, reappropriated the supremacist symbols of the Eastern European Block to construct their own identity as "state artists", faithful to a strict collective discipline. They opened consulates, designed badges and distributed passports for the NSK, a "state in time" that takes the paradoxes of state identity to an extreme in order to ultimately reveal a glimpse of the hidden face of existing ideological structures.