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The mapping resulted in a new re-articulation of the retro-avant-garde movement from the 1980s. First, at the beginning of the 1990s, Peter Weibel relaunched retro-avant-garde as a discursive matrix in an exhibition catalogue for the Steierischer Herbst exhibition in Graz, Austria. In this he coded the ex-Yugoslav territory from the "outside," subsuming the productions of Mladen Stilinović (Zagreb, Croatia), the Belgrade Malevich, and Irwin under the common signifier "retro-avant-garde." Then in 1996, I recontextualised "retro-avant-garde" as the new "-ism" from the East. This was an attempt to map the territory once known as Yugoslavia through the projects of Mladen Stilinović, Kazimir Malevich (Belgrade) and the Irwin group (especially Irwin's NSK Embassy projects). In order to emphasize the synthetic dialectical moment within the retro-avant-garde, I asked how this spiritual element of corporeality (NSK State in Time) and this corporeal element of spirituality (NSK Embassies in concrete private spaces) could be labeled. I called them "specters," viewing the NSK State in Time as the specter of the state and the NSK Embassies as the specters of embassies.

  • Artist: IRWIN
  • Original Title: Retroavantgarde
  • Year: 1997/2005
  • Material: digital (lambda) print
  • Dimensions: Original Size: 148 x 194 cm (58 1/4 x 76 3/8 in.) Framed: 157 x 203 cm (61 13/16 x 79 15/16 in.)
  • Inventory no.: K097
  • Category: poster
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