Towards A Double Consciousness: NSK Passport Project

26th – 31st July 2010

Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos is pleased to host the internationally renowned artists collective IRWIN, members of NSK (new Slovenian Art). Over a one week period of screenings, lectures and panel discussions, Towards a Double Consciousness: NSK Passport Project will take as its point of departure, NSK’s artistic intervention State in Time and its increasing significance in Africa especially within the context of Nigeria. State in Time, one of the most (in)famous projects produced by NSK, evolved out of their earlier activities, finding formation as a ‘state’ at the collapse of Yugoslavia and the coming into existence of the Republic of Slovenia in 1991. NSK’s State in Time transcends a physical geographical location or a defined statehood within a prescribed ethnic, cultural or religious belief, providing what IRWIN collaborator and writer Alexei Monroe describes as “a conceptual form of identification for individuals from diverse nationalities.”

Since the initial presentations around the world in the 1990s of State in Time the project is currently receiving a substantial number of requests for citizenship of the NSK State from Africa especially from Nigeria. This has resulted in many Nigerians assuming a dual identity as holders of NSK and Nigerian passports. In view of these new developments IRWIN conducted interviews with African/NSK citizens living in London, to ascertain their reasons for applying. Could it be in support of the initial artistic purpose of NSK? Do they see it as an avenue with which to move from one territory to another? Or is it for other socio-political reasons? Towards a Double Consciousness: NSK Passport project will allow further debate on both the artistic and political implications of the NSK State in Time action, offering an examination of their original artistic interventions within the Nigerian context.

This project forms part of CCA,Lagos’ year long programme On Independence and The Ambivalence of Promise celebrating 50 years of independence by seventeen African countries including Nigeria on the 1st October 2010. It provides an avenue to interrogate notions of nationhood at a time when our ideas of citizenship is continuously being challenged by state policies such as Nigeria’s contentious ‘federal character’ system or through religious and ethnic disturbances such as the recent unrest in the city of Jos, as well as the perennial civic unrest of the oil rich Niger Delta. Towards a Double Consciousness attempts to interrogate the way in which artists propose and individuals search for an alternative – real or fictional – possibility that goes beyond notions of a fixed identity or geography.

IRWIN is a collective of artists Dušan Mandič (b. 1954), Miran Mohar (b. 1958), Andrej Savski (b. 1961), Roman Uranjek (b. 1961) and Borut Vogelnik (b. 1959), which comprises one of the core groups within the artists’ collective Neue Slowenische Kunst (NSK). IRWIN was founded in 1983 in Slovenia. Recent exhibitions include: The Promises of the Past, Centre Pompidou, Paris, 2010; The Eye of the State, The Israel Center for Digital Art, Holon, Israel, 2010; Third New Old Cold War, Moscow Biennial, Red October; Modernities,Museum of Contemporary Art (MACBA), Barcelona; State in Time, Kunsthalle Krems, 2009. The members of the group live and work in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

26th – 31st July 2010
Screening: Research interview of NSK Citizens as well as artists based in Nigeria.
Friday, 30 July 2010 Time: 3:00pm
Topic: Introduction to media art and the use of video in relation to other forms of new media, technology and performance in contemporary art.
Speakers include;Dr. Inke Arns, IRWIN members: Miran Mohar and Borut Vogelnik and Performance artist Jelili Atiku.

Saturday, 31 July, Time 2pm
Screening: 2:00pm Screening of interviews with African NSK passport holders living in London.

Panel Discussion: 3:00pm
Topic: NSK State: The Nigerian connection. A discussion on the significance of an artistic action made in Europe in the 90s on contemporary African consciousness.
Speakers include; Dr Inke Arns, IRWIN members: Miran Mohar and Borut Vogelnik, NSK member Eda Cufer and Nigerian NSK passport holders. Moderated by Loren Hansi Momodu.

Curator: Loren Hansi Momodu
Curatorial Advisors; Dr. Inke Arns, Director, HMKV, Dortmund and Bisi Silva, Director, CCA,Lagos

The Advanced Cultural Management Programme andTowards a Double Consciousness are supported by the Goethe Institute, Johannesburg and Nigeria.

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