Talk:Neue Slowenische Kunst

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On Slovenian vs. Slovene:[edit]

Please see slovene on Firstly, the word 'Slovenian' may function as an adjective or a noun. Secondly, an adjective seems more appropriate in this context anyway. Thirdly, since 'Slovene' is directly equivalent to the German 'Slowene', and therefore I make the presumption that 'Slovenian' must be directly equivalent to the German 'Slowenische'. On the other hand, the best I can do in German is say yes, no, count to nine and say 'out' and make the occasional comment about swords, blood and bazookas, so this may well be based on flawed reasoning. If anyone who actually knows a word of German can help me out here, perhaps by telling me the difference between Slowenische/Slowene and telling me if they are adjective or nouns, it would be appreciated :). At some point, I am also going to have to stop arguing and just write the article. --Lezek

It is quite simple. German word 'slowenisch' is an adjective, meaning 'Slovene' or American/Canadian form 'Slovenian'. But since 'Slovene' or 'Slovenian' can also be nounds here's the undistinctness. And a word 'der Slowene' means a male person from Slovenia, so again we have 'Slovene' or 'Slovenian'. Hence 'Neue Slovenische Kunst' (or perhaps better 'Neue slowenische Kunst', since Germans write adjectives in lower case) would mean in English:
'New Slovene Art' or equivalent American/Canadian form:
'New Slovenian Art'.
And since this is an English Wikipedia we normaly shall use the first form 'Slovene' for both -- an adjective or a noun. A female person in German is 'die Slowenin' and again in English 'Slovene' or 'Slovenian'. She was a Slovene (Slovenian) paintress or he was Slovene (Slovenian) painter -- adjectives. Mary was Slovene (Slovenian) and Mark was Slovene (Slovenian) -- nouns in singular. In plural we say: people from Slovenia are called Slovenes (Slovenians)... The translation does not depend on a German language, but on English. We can't look for Slovene etymologies in German language in general. But perhaps can be true that English language got this word right from the German language as it is said in Merriam-Webster dictionary. Therefore 'Slovenian' is not directly equivalent to the German 'slowenisch' or 'Slovene' to 'Slowene'. I hope this was the answer. Best regards. --XJamRastafire 14:26 Jan 13, 2003 (UTC)
Thanks. To be honest I just prefer 'New Slovenian Art' since to me it sounds more similar to the original German. However I don't know of any 'official' translation so I'll just leave it as is. --Lezek


Some resources for the purpose of writing the article

Official page:
"NSK for Stormy Waters"; little or no actual information:
"Electronic Embassy"; some information about the State in Time:
Laibach homepage; some history of Laibach and NSK and clues about their aims:
Article about State in Time:
An opinion about the aims of NSK:
An interview with some NSK members:
A rather uninformative article about Laibach:
Another interview with some NSK members:
Another article about State in Time:
Small article about NSK:
Fairly useful article about Laibach:
Excellent thesis about NSK:

Lezek 19:17 Dec 26, 2002 (UTC)


Is there any substantiation for the statement, "In recent years it has been connected to Neo-Nazis?" I know by reputation, and in one case personally, several artists connected to NSK, and they are no closer to being Nazi sympathizers than I am (and I'm a Jew). NSK has always toyed with totalitarian images of all sorts, often by juxtaposing them with one another in combinations so politically incompatible that it is hard for me to imagine an other-than-satirical purpose, so merely showing that they may have used some particular symbol would mean nothing in this respect. -- Jmabel | Talk 06:48, Oct 25, 2004 (UTC)

i can understand how some bands with no intention of being white power bands can nevertheless be adopted by white supremacists. i hear something to that extent happened to joy division, because of the band's name. there is no doubt in my mind that there are quite some neo-nazi consumers of laibach's music (an image from the moscow gig of the WAT tour comes to mind - there were skinheads, vawing swastika adorned flags in the audience). i would think this is what mislead whoever assumed laibach was connected to neo-nazi movements. but in this instance, the whole thing is not only entirely off the mark, it's even ironic - imagine neonazis enjoying laibach music, and all the time not even realizing that the whole totalitarian image of the band is an elaborate joke, one that the same neonazis are now pulling on themselves. i would think the band would to an extent even encourage this sort of misunderstanings, as they only add to their cryptic fame. a few days ago, i saw an interview with peter mlakar, NSK's resident philosopher/preacher/de sade scholar, and he stressed out what a devout christian he was. this of course sounds absurd, as his sermons are "christian" only in form, but for the most time deal with love, sex and the g-spot. but then, this is the core of the whole NSK approach - shock by amalgamation of completely contrasting ideas. 02:52, 12 March 2006 (UTC)

Place of origin[edit]

I have so far left intact someone else's claim that NSK originated in Trbovlje. I know that's where the band Laibach are from, but did NSK as such begin there? Laibach were around for about 4 years before NSK started; see VH1's bio of Laibach. Should we strike the name of the particular town from the article? -- Jmabel | Talk 05:05, Nov 25, 2004 (UTC)


Why remove Category:Propaganda? Most of the visual art of NSK reappropriates propaganda, no? -- Jmabel | Talk 06:20, Dec 8, 2004 (UTC)

No. AFAIK they are only trying to piss the viewers off by usage of tabooed symbolics. You should know this is kind of art. IMO they don't have political agenda directly related to swastika, red star, etc. Probably they are trying to say that all of us are idiots to take various symbolics too seriously, that we didn't go far away from savages with their totems and woodoo, whatever. Reductio ad absurdum, literally, so to say. Even if I am wrong, the article doesn't say anything that may be interpreted as propaganda. One cannot slap tags ad libitum here and there, especially loaded ones. Mikkalai 07:25, 8 Dec 2004 (UTC)
I agree with you completely on what the NSK people are up to. I wasn't suggesting that NSK's works are propaganda (although arguably they constitute anti-totalitarian propaganda), but that they are in large measure about propaganda, and therefore belong in that category. -- Jmabel | Talk 07:59, Dec 8, 2004 (UTC)
Still, my second objection holds. Unless the article says something in this relation, the relevance is only superficial. Mikkalai 08:09, 8 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Some artists draw pictures of India, sea, horses, Fuji. Will you put them into category:volcanoes, category:horses, etc.? Reasonable relevance must be observed, otherwise the whole classification will become non-usable. Mikkalai 19:23, 28 Dec 2004 (UTC)

It finally came to my mind, drowned in cliches, why would you claim it "reappropriates propaganda"? It reappropriates symbols. Symbols are not necessarily created with the goal of propaganda. They are created to denote something, for reference; this is their primary purpose. They may be used in propaganda purposes (which is not the porpose of NSK). For example, TV is heavily used in propaganda. Why don't you slap this category onto the TV article? Mikkalai 19:39, 28 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Nothing like a sore winner. You won't even let it rest now? OK: New Collective Studio have frequently reappropriated specific propaganda posters, making small alterations to them for satiric purposes. Laibach's videos deliberately mirror the visual style of Nazi propaganda films. I could go on, but this is not important. I already let you have your way on this, but I'm not going to change my mind for you. -- Jmabel | Talk 19:58, Dec 28, 2004 (UTC)

Exhibit at Frye Art Museum, Seattle[edit]

I just (belatedly) saw the NSK exhibit at the Frye Art Museum in Seattle, which closes at the end of July. I believe (but have no citation) that this is the first NSK exhibit in a "regular" art museum, one not specifically devoted to avant garde art. I won't put that in the article without citation, but I'd be interested to know if anyone either can confirm or knows otherwise.

  • Apparently not the first: there was a 2004 show in Barcelona at the Joan Miró Foundation. Might still be their first exhibit in a museum not specifically modern, though. -- Jmabel | Talk 06:52, July 20, 2005 (UTC)

Anyway, it was quite an experience to pass through the Frye's permanent collection (very tame, nothing more radical than the Munich Succession), and walk into a large space mostly filled with Neil K. Rector's NSK collection. It was even weirder because at the time I was visiting, so was a group from an assisted living facility for seniors, mostly either with walkers or wheelchairs: not exactly the usual audience to see a video of "Tanz Mit Leibach". There was also a 40-ish couple from Denver who had come merely expecting to pay a somewhat dutiful visit to what they figured would be the dowdy aunt among Seattle's museums, and instead discovering her mischievous offspring.

I gather that the Frye exhibition has exposed this work to an audience that would not usually see it. The only constant in the Frye's programming is that the work is representational rather than abstract. That often draws a relatively artistically conservative crowd. And it reminded me how shocking NSK works can be when you first see them; the humor creeps up on you much more slowly. -- Jmabel | Talk 06:35, July 20, 2005 (UTC)

"The Slovenia of Athens"[edit]

There should be more mentioned about the NSK "state" like how it's called The Slovenia of Athens. etc. (talk) 00:24, 11 January 2008 (UTC)

NSK: moved from Culture of Slovenia[edit]

The following text was moved from Culture of Slovenia as that article should discuss culture of Slovenia in general, not of NSK. -- (talk) 14:26, 9 November 2010 (UTC)

Neue Slowenische Kunst[edit]

right|thumb|100px|Logo of Neue Slowenische Kunst Neue Slowenische Kunst (a German phrase meaning "New Slovenian Art"), aka NSK, is a controversial political art collective that announced itself in Slovenia in 1984, when Slovenia was part of Yugoslavia. NSK's name, being German, is compatible with a theme in NSK works: the complicated relationship Slovenes have had with Germans. The name of NSK's music wing, Laibach, is also the German name of the Slovene capital Ljubljana, creating controversy through evoking memories of the Nazi occupation of Slovenia during the Second World War.[1]


NSK's best-known member is the musical group Laibach. Other NSK member groups include IRWIN (visual art), Noordung (theater; originally named Scipion Našice Sisters Theater, also known as Red Pilot), New Collective Studio (graphics; also known as New Collectivism), Retrovision (film and video), and the Department of Pure and Applied Philosophy (theory).[2][3][4] The founding groups of the NSK were Laibach, IRWIN, and Scipion Našice Sisters Theater.


NSK art often draws on symbols drawn from totalitarian or extreme nationalist movements, often reappropriating totalitarian kitsch in a visual style reminiscent of Dada. NSK artists often juxtapose symbols from different (and often incompatible) political ideologies. For example, a 1987 NSK-designed poster caused a scandal by winning a competition for the Yugoslavian Youth Day Celebration. The poster appropriated a painting by Nazi artist Richard Klein, replacing the flag of Nazi Germany with the Yugoslav flag and the German eagle with a dove.[3]

Both IRWIN and Laibach are emphatic about their work being collective rather than individual. Laibach's original songs and arrangements are always credited to the group collectively; the individual artists are not named on their album covers; at one point, there were even two separate Laibach groups touring at the same time, both with members of the original group. Similarly, the IRWIN artists never sign their work individually; instead, they are "signed" with a stamp or certificate indicating approval as a work from the IRWIN collective.

The NSK were the subject of a 1996 documentary film written and directed by Michael Benson, entitled Prerokbe Ognja in Slovenian, or Predictions of Fire in English.[5] Among those interviewed in the film is Slovenian intellectual Slavoj Žižek.

NSK State[edit]

Since 1991, NSK claims to constitute a state,[6] a claim similar to that of micronations. They issue passports,[7] have presented shows of their work in the guise of an embassy or even as a territory of their supposed state, and maintain consulates in several cities including Umag, Croatia.[8] NSK have also issued postage stamps. Laibach, in 2006, recorded (some may say 'remixed') the NSK State National Anthem on the LP "Volk." The "anthem" adopts its melody from another Laibach song, "The Great Seal." Laibach's version of the NSK anthem includes a computer voice reciting an excerpt from Winston Churchill's famous "We shall fight them on the beaches/We shall never surrender" speech. The computer voice is clearly recognisable as the voice synthesiser Macintalk, built into Mac OS, and uses the preset voice Ralph.

The NSK passports are an art project and as such are not valid for travel. However, many desperate people have fallen for a scam in which they are issued a NSK passport. Most of these scams originate in Nigeria and Egypt.[9]

-- (talk) 14:26, 9 November 2010 (UTC)

  1. ^ Monroe, Alexei. Interrogation Machine. MIT Press, 2005. p 3.
  2. ^ Anonymous. "State of Art: the new Slovene Avant Garde" (2004). Northwest Film Forum and Scala House, program for exhibit November 18–November 24, 2004 at Northwest Film Forum, Seattle.
  3. ^ a b Regina Hackett. "Slovenian art collective is adept at working politics and art". Seattle Post-Intelligencer, November 19, 2004.
  4. ^ "Laibach". Retrieved 2008-06-11. 
  5. ^ Holden, Steven. "Facing the Menace of Totalitarianism". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved 2008-06-11. 
  6. ^ "[ NSKSTATE.COM ] [ The Slovenia of Athens ]". Archived from the original on 2008-03-09. Retrieved 2008-06-11. 
  7. ^ "[ NSKSTATE.COM ] [ HOW TO GET A PASSPORT ]". Archived from the original on 2008-04-06. Retrieved 2008-06-11. 
  8. ^ "[ NSKSTATE.COM ]". Archived from the original on 2008-04-06. Retrieved 2008-06-11. 
  9. ^ "[ NSK Passport ]". DHC 2008. Retrieved 2010-06-07.