Slavoj Žižek Will Headline a Radical Utopian Splinter Pavilion at the Venice Biennale

The Slovenian art collective NSK State in Time will question statehood with the philosopher during this year's biennale.

Slavoj Zizek in 2012. Photo by Tim Whitby/Getty Images for BFI.

NSK State in Time, the borderless utopian vision of art collective Neue Slowenische Kunst (New Slovenian Art), is staging its own pavilion to open in coordination with the Venice Biennale, initiated with a lecture by philosopher Slavoj Žižek.

“The pavilion does not stand in opposition to the national structure of the Venice Biennale, but rather seeks to stand as an independent Pavilion that will redefine the idea of the state and proffer a new type of citizenship,” the NSK State wrote in a press release.

While the NSK collective was formed in 1984 by members including avant-garde music group Laibach and artist collective IRWIN, the NSK State in Time was founded in 1992, as a non-geographical ideological “state,” the self-proclaimed “first global state of the universe.” It is, needless to say, ultimately a conceptual art project and not a legally recognized nation.

In 2010, it held the first NSK Citizen’s Conference at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin, and today its international members organize art exhibitions and communicate on online forums like the NSK Times, a member-run website dedicated to the art and ideas of self-identified NSK citizens.

The collective built its pavilion project “in collaboration with migrant communities, humanitarian protection applicants, and stateless individuals who are looking for new citizenship.” Featured will be contributions from more than 200 artists, philosophers, students, collectives, cooperatives, and institutions.

It will continue the collective’s ongoing interrogation into contemporary statehood in the context of the Venice Biennale, which has 84 official national pavilions by participating countries in its 57th iteration. (Including Slovenia, which is represented by Nika Autor this year.)

Attendance to the lecture at the NSK State Pavilion will be free of charge, but is only open to members of the NSK State, or grantees of a temporary NSK visa. Interested visitors will be able to apply for the visa on the NSK State Pavilion’s website, where they can also apply for citizenship—with a €24 application fee.

The NSK State Pavilion will be open from May 11 to July 15, 2017. The inaugural lecture by Slavoj Žižek will take place at 5 pm on May 11.

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