Neue Slowenische Kunst | Monumental Spectacular

April 12 – October 5, 2024

Neue Slowenische Kunst (NSK) is an artists’ collective founded in 1984 in Slovenia from existing groups that formed earlier that decade–the industrial band Laibach, The Scipion Nasice Sisters Theatre, and the visual art collaborative IRWIN. As a loose organization of like-minded creatives active during the last decade of communist Yugoslavia before Slovenia became an independent country in 1991, they mimicked the language and format of authoritarian regimes and bureaucracy. In doing so, NSK drew attention to the absurdities of power structures through their manifestos, repetitive diagrams and symbols, and pastiche of historical iconography, allusions, and references. 

While the collective is still active today, Neue Slowenische Kunst | Monumental Spectacular is a focused exhibition of 11 prints that are part of a portfolio from our collection and select multimedia elements primarily from the 1980s that meld the group’s many facets of music, art, theater, and graphic design. Together, their work reexamines the complexities around Slovenian, Eastern European, and global history, culture, language, politics, and violence to unearth art’s entanglement with power at a time when Slovenia was held between nationalist, capitalist, and communist ideologies. Highlighting the epic and heroic graphic style of these prints, this exhibition illuminates the purpose, according to IRWIN,  “to reassert Slovenian culture in a monumental and spectacular way.”

Curatorial Lead: Samantha Sigmon, Assistant Curator

Curatorial and Exhibition Interns on Project: Keira January, Clara Kennedy

Core Texts:

  • East Art Map: Contemporary Art and Eastern Europe, edited by IRWIN, 2006
  • Ethnic Nationalism: The Tragic Death of Yugoslavia, Revised Edition, Bogdan Denitch, 1996
  • Interrogation Machine: Laibach and NSK, Alexei Monroe, 2005
  • Neue Slowenische Kunst, Neue Slowenische Kunst and New Collectivism, Irwin, NSK, Laibach et al., 1991
  • NSK from Kapital to Capital: Neue Slowenische Kunst—an Event of the Final Decade of Yugoslavia, edited by Zdenka Badovinac, Eda Čufer, and Anthony Gardner, 2015
  • NSK from Kapital to Capital: Neue Slowenische Kunst—an Event of the Final Decade of Yugoslavia, exhibition guide, 11 May – 16 August 2015, Moderna galerija, Ljubljana, Curator: Zdenka Badovinac
  • Post-Yugoslavia: New Cultural and Political Perspectives, Edited by Dino Abazovic and Mitja Velokonja, 2014
  • Tito, Neil Barnett, 2006

NSK website

NSK from Kapital to Capital Website