• WHO WAS 1968?
    28 Sept 2018 − 13 Jan 2019

    LENTOS Kunstmuseum WHO WAS 1968? Art, Architecture, Society Curated by: Hedwig Saxenhuber, Georg Schöllhammer Loans by Kontakt from: Heimrad Bäcker, Stanisław Dróżdż, VALIE EXPORT, Stano Filko, Běla Kolářová, Július Koller, Natalia LL, Karel Miler, Petr Štembera, Raša Todosijević and Goran Trbuljak A decade of eruptions, departures and redefinitions in the steel city Linz. The year I968 marks a turning point that ushered in a new era. Across Western Europe and in the United States Student protests and workers’ revolts called into question the post-war power structure itself, while Soviet tanks bulldozed the Prague Spring into the ground and signalled the end of the hope that the Eastern Bloc would open up to the West. This exhibition harks back to the echoes of I968 in Linz and Upper Austria. Embracing the arts, architecture, music, film and literature, it unfolds for the first time a synoptic map on which key figures and moments of local history – some largely unknown to this day – are accorded a place. It enables visitors to embark on exploratory trips and to survey the rich fabric of relationships and linkages that includes points of contact with international scenarios and trends. Experiments in the aesthetic field were begun with a view to escaping from the cultural stuffiness of the first two post-war decades. The participating artists include: Claudia von Alemann, Ant Farm, Heimrad Bäcker, Josef Bauer, Bill Bollinger, Dietmar Brehm, Gerd Conradt, Waltraut Cooper, Stanisław Dróżdż, Erró, VALIE EXPORT, Harun Farocki, Hans-Peter Feldmann, Stano Filko, Helmuth Gsöllpointner, Timo Huber, Johann Jascha, Martha Jungwirth, Gülsün Karamustafa, Gerhard Knogler, Běla Kolářová, Juliús Koller, Peter Kubelka, Zofia Kulik, KwieKulik, Maria Lassnig, Fritz Lichtenauer, Natalia LL, Karel Miler, Josef Nöbauer, OHO, Yoko Ono, Gina Pane, Friederike Pezold, Cora Pongracz, Chris Reinecke, Martha Rosler, Dieter Roth, Zorka Sàglovà, Dominik Steiger, Petr Štembera, Raša Todosijević, Goran Trbuljak, Tucumàn Arde, Jiřì Valoch, Agnés Varda, Peter Weibel, Hannah Wilke, Jana Želibská, Želimir Žilnik, Zünd-Up



One of the most attention-grabbing projects of the Neue Slowenische Kunst (NSK) movement in the post-socialist 1990s was the State in Time project carried out primarily by Irwin. The first important point to be made here is that the NSK State in Time implied the absence of any kind of physical territory, and the second, that it operated through the virtualization and transfer of national elements in a wholly temporal form in which cause and effect were not spatial but linked through information.

The NSK Embassy in Moscow was established in the context of the internationalization of the important Eastern European phenomenon known as Apt-Art (Apartment-Art)–the producing and exhibiting of art in the private apartments of Moscow's underground circles. The Embassy project did not attempt to achieve equilibrium in the opposition between totalitarian ideology and the untainted "non-ideological" private sphere (although it did preserve something left over from the totalitarian style of claustrophobia), but rather it tried to actualize both spheres as two sides of the same coin (Slavoj Žižek's formulation), both of which will disappear in a post-socialist democracy.

NSK Embassies were realized in Moscow (1992) and Ghent (1993), and at the Berlin Volksbühne (1993). Consulates were opened at the Hotel Ambasciatori in Florence (1993) and in the kitchen of private gallery owner Marino Cettina in Umag, Croatia (1994). From a historical viewpoint, the NSK Moscow Embassy and the NSK Umag Consulate were essentially and directly linked to the presentation of Irwin's projects in the mid-1980s, including Irwin's exhibition “Was ist Kunst?” (What is art?) held in a private apartment in Ljubljana in 1984. In this extreme utopia, Irwin's NSK Embassy means not only a break with analogy, but also a break with representational models on the basis of which we establish our certainty through similarity. This is also one possible way to understand the notion of the "mapping" of post-socialism.


artist collective since 1983, Ljubljana / SL, at that time Jugoslavija

Dušan Mandič, Miran Mohar, Andrej Savski, Roman Uranjek and Borut Vogelnik

The group IRWIN was founded in 1983 and at first called Rrose Irwin Sélavy. In 1984, together with the musical group Laibach and the Scipion Našice Sisters Theater, IRWIN created the collective “Neue Slowenische Kunst” - NSK (New Slovenian Art). Soon after its founding, the group had shortened the name to R Irwin S. and, after forming the larger collective, to IRWIN. In 1987 the group gave an official statement on their activity in form of the text “The Future is the seed of the past”. IRWIN’s members presented their work to the collective for approval. Afterwards they were stamped with the group’s monogram.


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