NSK State Art:
New York, The Impossible Return

NSK State Art:
New York, The Impossible Return

The James Gallery at CUNY Graduate Center

Alban Muja, Catch Me, 2007. Photograph, dimensions variable. Photo: Kiriko Shirobyashi. Courtesy of the artist.
February 1, 2017
NSK State Art: New York, The Impossible Return

February 9–March 25, 2017

Opening: February 8, 6–8pm

The James Gallery
The Graduate Center, CUNY
365 Fifth Avenue
between 34th and 35th Streets
New York, NY 10016
Hours: Tuesday–Thursday noon–7pm,
Friday–Saturday noon–6pm


Artists: Marina Abramović / Ulay, Yael Bartana, Danica Dakić, Pablo Helguera, Ištvan Išt Huzjan, Alban Muja, Nebojša Šerić-Shoba, Mladen Stilinović

Curators: Katherine Carl and Tevž Logar

What is the experience of a state that is not based on territory but on time? In 1992, under different historical circumstances but with political resonance to the contemporary moment, the Slovenian art collective NSK transformed into a national apparatus called the State in Time. Although it does not hold any permanent territory, the State in Time is the virtual home to over 15,000 citizens worldwide, many of them artists.

Today, any notion of a coming post-national moment has been abruptly inverted by the aggressive reassertion of nationalism post-Brexit, with the surge of xenophobia in the United States, and as refugees and migrants continue to struggle across Europe. The aim of the works on view in the exhibition NSK State Art: New York, The Impossible Return is to create mechanisms for exchange and to form sustained human relations over time that exceed such borders. Throughout their oeuvres, the nine artists represented—all of whom hold State in Time passports—have negotiated boundaries and traversed nations, expanding concepts of mind, memory, and history. Thus the presentation is a case study for a community in which bonds of friendship and combined agency create innovative formations within and across the vision and reality of the nation state.

NSK State Art: New York, The Impossible Return is the first United States presentation of the long-term NSK State Art Project, which was originally initiated by the group IRWIN. The exhibition is presented in collaboration with the NSK State Pavilion at Venice Biennale 2017 and with NSK’s New York Consulate, e-flux, New York.

Related programs
All events are free, open to the public, and at the CUNY Graduate Center unless otherwise noted

Wednesday, February 8, 6–8pm
Exhibition reception
The James Gallery

Thursday, February 9, 5–9pm
State in Time
Katherine Carl, Eda Čufer, Pablo Helguera, Ištvan Išt Huzjan, Charles Lewis, Tevž Logar, Alban Muja, Borut Vogelnik
The James Gallery

Wednesday, February 15, 7–9pm
James T. Hong
e-flux, 311 East Broadway, New York

Tuesday, February 21, 6:30–8pm
The Flood: Refugees and Representation
Joanna Lehan, Hakan Topal
The James Gallery

Tuesday, March 7, 10am–8pm; Wednesday, March 8, 6–8pm
Art, Institutions, and Internationalism: 1933–1966
Lucia Allais, Claire Bishop, Katherine Carl, Romy Golan, Olga Herrera, David Joselit, Anna Indych Lopez, Maria Antonella Pelizzari, Naeem Mohaiemen, Chika Okeke Agulu, Katy Siegel
Martin E. Segal Theatre; Bartos Theater, MoMA

Wednesday, March 15, 6:30–8pm
ICI Curator’s Perspective
Kasper König, Britta Peters
Skylight Room

Wednesday, March 16, 6:30–8:30pm
State in Time Workshop
Katherine Carl, James Sevitt, and other participants (please see website for details)
The James Gallery

Thursday, March 30, 6:30–8:30pm
Activestills: Photography as Protest in Palestine/Israel
Vered Maimon, Siona Wilson, Oren Ziv, and other participants (please see website for details)
Skylight Room


The Amie and Tony James Gallery’s mission is to bring artists and scholars into public dialogue on topics of mutual concern. Located in midtown Manhattan at the nexus of the academy, contemporary art, and the city, the gallery creates and presents artwork to the public in a variety of formats. While some exhibitions remain on view for extended contemplation, other activities such as performances, workshops, reading groups, roundtable discussions, salons, and screenings have a short duration. The gallery works with scholars, students, artists and the public to explore working methods that may lie outside usual disciplinary boundaries.

For more information, contact Jennifer Wilkinson: T 212 817 2020 / [email protected]

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The James Gallery at CUNY Graduate Center
February 1, 2017

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