• Probe 1 – The Story of Slovak (Post)Conceptual art
    12 Dec 2018 − 24 March 2019

    Prague City Gallery / Stone Bell House Curated by: Vlado Beskid and Jakub Král Loans by Kontakt: Ján Mančuška, Julius Koller, Stano Filko, Roman Ondak The exhibition will introduce Czech public into one of the crucial tendencies found in modern and contemporary Slovak art. It will focus on the origination and development of Conceptual and post-Conceptual Art within the horizon of the past fifty years in Slovakia, i.e. from the alternative, unofficial scene of the 1960s to the post-1989 legal artistic platform. The oeuvres of two generations of artists, such as Viktor Frešo, Jozef Jankovič, Anetta Mona Chisa & Lucia Tkáčová, Martin Kochan, Július Koller, Marek Kvetan, Ján Mančuška, Roman Ondák, Boris Ondreička, Monogramista T.D, Rudolf Sikora, Pavla Sceranková, Peter Rónai and Jaro Varga, will serve to present particular forms of Conceptual artistic morphology, as it was shaped by the new aesthetic criteria with their codes, in the context of time. The exhibition, held as a specific contribution to the celebrations of the 100th anniversary of the existence of Czechoslovakia, will go hand in hand with interventions by several Czech artists (Jan Brož, Alice Nikitinová, Vít Soukup, Pavel Sterec, Antonín Střížek, Michaela Thelenová) who will loosely contextualize selected historical, social, economic and world-view facets of our history. Their main subject of interest is the transformations of the internal social paradigm, presented the loss of the utopian outreach of our thinking in connection with the declining big ideologies.



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 virtualisation 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 internationalisation 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 actualise 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 realised 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.




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

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


Please follow this link for a selected bibliography available at the ERSTE Foundation Library
IRWIN in front of NSK Embassy Moscow, photo artists archive, 1992
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