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NSK from Kapital to Capital - Book

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NSK from Kapital to Capital: Neue Slowenische Kunst – The Event of the Final Decade of Yugoslavia

Edited by Zdenka BadovinacEda Čufer and Anthony Gardner
Co-published and distributed by MIT Press

Following the eponymous exhibition, an extensive book about NSK has just been published. It features the work of the Neue Slowenische Kunst (NSK) art collective throughout the decade of the 1980s. Beginning with the early work of Laibach and the founding of NSK, the book focuses on telling the story of NSK, which adopted the symbols, codes and motifs pertaining to contradictory ideologies and art traditions. Combining primary documents, period artifacts and contextual information, the book provides unprecedented insight into the distribution and reception of NSK during the decade of social unrest that led to the end of Yugoslavia and socialism. The editors commissioned several new texts which contextualize the primary documents and expand and deepen the scholarship of art and culture of the time. In addition to that, texts by early critics and commentators and reprinted. 

Besides the authors of the primary documents, the authors of the texts are: Bojan Anđelković, Inke Arns, Zdenka Badovinac, Barbara Borčić, Dominic Boyer, Eda Čufer, Mladen Dolar, Goran Đorđević, Anthony Gardner, Gediminas Gasparavičius, Boris Groys, Marina Gržinić, Chrissie Iles, Taras Kermauner, Željko Kipke, Jela Krečič, Lev Kreft, Dejan Kršić, Dušan Mandič, Tomaž Mastnak,  Rastko Močnik,  Alexei Monroe, Stojan Pelko, Tone Peršak, Katja Praznik, Daniel R. Quiles, Dimitrij Rupel, Sylvia Sasse, Stevphen Shukaitis, Lilijana Stepančič, Darko Štrajn, Igor Vidmar, Catherine Wood, Alexei Yurchak, Jaša L. Zlobec in Slavoj Žižek; chronology of Neue Slowenische Kunst and its Groups from 1980 til 1992 was written by Jana Intihar Ferjan.



The NSK common room

Laibach room

IRWIN room

Theatre groups room (Scipion Nasice Sisters Theatre, Cosmokinetic Theatre Rdeči pilot, Cosmokinetic Cabinet Noordung)

Other NSK departments room (New Collectivism, Department of Pure and Applied Philosophy,   Retrovision, Film, Builders)

Zdenka Badovinac An Exhibition about the NSK Commons: NSK from Kapital to Capital. Neue Slowenische Kunst –an Event of the Final Decade of Yugoslavia


Zdenka BadovinacEda Čufer and Anthony Gardner Introduction: Neue Slowenische Kunst from Kapital to Capital

Initiation: The Early 1980s and the Emergence of the NSK Groups

Darko Štrajn,  Black -and -White Shock in Trbovlje

Goran Đorđević,  A Letter to the Theoria Editorial Board

Dušan Mandič, Harbingers of the Apocalypse: An Exhibition of Works by Belgrade Artist Goran Đorđević

Slavoj Žižek, History and Repetition: How “Truth Arises Out of Misrecognition”

Mladen Dolar, Fascism through Psychoanalysis

Taras Kermauner, X + (–) 11 = ?

Tone Peršak, The Retrogarde as Alternative Avant-Garde?

Marina Gržinić, Graffiti  as a Subversion of Slovenian Cultural Space

Slavoj Žižek, Ideology, Cynicism, Punk

Formative Stage:  From Neue Slowenische Kunst (1984) to NSK State in Time (1992)

Željko Kipke, Organic Eclectics

Rastko Močnik, Postmodernism and the Alternative

Marina Gržinić, Was ist Kunst

Dimitrij Rupel, Retrogardism

Jaša L. Zlobec, A Sterile Baptism in a Hollow Temple

Lev Kreft, Avant-Garde, Retro-Garde and Progress

Mladen Dolar, Psychoanalysis in Power: On Fascism, Marxism and the Poster Scandal

Slavoj Žižek, A Letter from Afar

Tomaž Mastnak, On the Soul of Social Movements: A Few Remarks from Up Close on Žižek’s Letter from Afar

Chrissie Iles, Perpetual Present

Boris Groys, The IRWIN Group: More Total Than Totalitarianism

Stojan Pelko, Dragan Živadinov – Noordung Prayer Machine

Codification:  Selected Critical Essays on NSK during Its First Decade

Marina Gržinić, Neue Slowenische Kunst (NSK): The Art Groups Laibach, IRWIN, and Noordung

Cosmokinetical Theatre Cabinet – New Strategies in the Nineties

Slavoj Žižek, Why Are Laibach and NSK not Fascists?

Slavoj Žižek, The Enlightenment in Laibach

Lilijana Stepančič, The Poster Scandal: New Collectivism and the 1987 Youth Day

Inke Arns, Mobile States / Shifting Borders / Moving Entities: The Slovenian Artists’ Collective

Neue Slowenische Kunst (NSK)

Eda Čufer, Athletics of the Eye: Baptism and the Problem of Writing and Reading Contemporary


Alexei Monroe, Was ist Kunst? (Actually Existing Retrogardism)

Inke Arns & Sylvia Sasse, Subversive Affirmation: On Mimesis as a Strategy of Resistance

Historicization:  Art- Historical and Intercultural Contextualization from a Contemporary Perspective

Tomaž Mastnak, Civil Society and Fascism

Igor Vidmar, In the Name of Idea: The Birth of Action from the Spirit of Music

Barbara Borčić, The ŠKUC Gallery, Alternative Culture, and Neue Slowenische Kunst in the 1980s

Catherine Wood, Back to USA, Replayed

Stevphen Shukaitis, Icons of Futures Past: IRWIN, Neue Slowenische Kunst, and the Spiritual Politics of Artistic Provocation

Bojan Anđelković, The Genealogy of the Spectator’s View in the Dragan Živadinov Theatre

Katja Praznik, Ideological Subversion vs. Cultural Policy of Late Socialism: The Case of the Scipion

Nasice Sisters Theatre (SNST)

Jela Krečič, Manifestos and Programmes

Dejan Kršić, Fragments on the Matter of New Collectivism

Dominic Boyer & Alexei Yurchak, American Stiob: Or, What Late-Socialist Aesthetics of Parody Reveal about Contemporary Political Culture in the West

Gediminas Gasparavičius, Promises and Premises of Art as a State: NSK Embassy Moscow and its Contexts

Rastko Močnik, East!

Daniel R. Quiles, S(h)ifters: Over-identification in Latin America, 1966–1989

Anthony Gardner, Neue Slowenische Kunst 1984–1992: From the Critique of Institutions to the Pursuit of Independence

Mladen Dolar, State of the Art

Primary documents

Laibach, From the Internal Book of Laws: Constitution of Membership and Basic Duties of

NSK Members

Laibach, 10 Items of the Covenant

Laibach, Art and Totalitarianism

Laibach, XY – Unsolved

IRWIN, The program of IRWIN group

IRWIN, Retro Principle: The Principle of Manipulation With the Memory of the Visible Emphasized Eclecticism – the Platform for National Authenticity

IRWIN, Interview, Bill Furlong and Mike Archer

The Scipion Nasice Sisters Theatre, The Founding Act

The Scipion Nasice Sisters Theatre, The First Sisters Letter, The Second Sisters Letter

Cosmokinetic Theatre Rdeči pilot, The Founding Document

Cosmokinetic Cabinet Noordung, Prayer Machine

New Collectivism, Proclamation

Retrovision, Retrovision

Film, Beauty and Nation: A Heimat film

Builders, Builders

Builders, Constructions I, Constructions II

Department of Pure and Applied Philosophy, Peter Mlakar's poetry, writings and addresses

Alexei Monroe, Philosophy, Literature and Rhetoric: God – Enjoyment – The Absolute

Eda Čufer & IRWIN, NSK State in Time

Jana Intihar Ferjan, Chronology of Neue Slowenische Kunst and its Groups 1980–1992


NSK Groups

Appendix A: List of the Exhibits

Appendix B: The Full Text of Tomaž Mastnak's The 1980s: A Retro Future