July 4, 2017 - NSK State Pavilion - NSK State Pavilion
July 4, 2017

NSK State Pavilion

View of NSK State Pavilion, Venice, 2017. Photo: Jaka Babnik. Courtesy NSK State Pavilion 2017.

NSK State Pavilion

Palazzo Ca’ Tron
IUAV University
Santa Croce 1957
30135 Venice

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The NSK State Pavilion, taking place at Palazzo Ca’Tron, IUAV University of Venice, is entering its final weeks, and will close on Saturday, July 15.

NSK State in Time was founded by artist collective Neue Slowenische Kunst (NSK) in 1992, conceived as a utopian formation without physical territory and identifying with no existing nation state. Well known citizens include Marina Abramović, John Baldessari and Slavoj Žižek.

Since launching in May with an inaugural lecture by Slavoj Žižek (soon to be available online), over 400 passports have been issued at the Pavilion, increasing the number of NSK State in Time citizens to over 15,500.

The Pavilion aims to develop ideas of what a contemporary state can be, offering an open form of citizenship which contrasts with that generated by spatially-defined states. Reflecting this, the Pavilion is divided into two parts, conceived by artist Ahmet Öğüt. Visitors first encounter a room of "global disorder," in which over 100 responses from contributors to a questionnaire about their views on Europe are exhibited, followed by the NSK passport office.

The Pavilion does not stand in opposition to the national structure of the Venice Biennale, but rather as an independent Pavilion redefining ideas of the state and proffering a new type of citizenship. The Pavilion has sought to generate ideas from a wide spectrum of individuals, including migrant communities, humanitarian protection applicants and stateless individuals around a range of issues that most trouble current contemporary states, such as migration, citizenship, heritage and identity. Looking beyond Europe’s current fragmentation and inner antagonisms, discussions have centered on building new collectivities and shared histories across national borders.

A collateral project of workshops has sought to advance contemporary European migratory policies, and has resulted in "Beyond Borders," a policy document written by Claudio Donadel in collaboration with local social workers. A transnational reception model for asylum seekers, it is expected to be implemented through trials in Italy, Slovenia and Austria. A symposium to promote the initiative was organised by Co.Ge.S Social cooperative and took place on World Refugee Day (June 20, 2017) at the Pavilion. The document can be downloaded from the website here.

A further series of workshops have seen MA students of Visual Arts at IUAV participating in an open debate around the subject of citizenship and statehood through public conferences with NSK State Pavilion organisers, citizens, officers and artists. These seminars are intended to contribute to the understanding and dissemination of ideas surrounding the topic. A discussion will take place on July 14, 2017 at Palazzo Ca’ Tron.

Commissioned by artist collective IRWIN, the project is curated by Zdenka Badovinac and Charles Esche, and directed by Mara Ambrožič. 

IRWIN would like to thank all participants in the Pavilion, particularly all 200 delegates for their fundamental contribution to the project.


A book titled The Final Countdown: Europe, Refugees and the Left, edited by Jela Krečič, is available to purchase online. The collected essays introduce some of the most important theoretical minds of our time, including Boris Buden, Mladen Dolar, Saroj Giri, Boris Groys, Agon Hamza, Jamil Khader, Robert Pfaller, Frank Ruda, Slavoj Žižek and Alenka Zupančič.

A parallel enactment of the NSK State Pavilion project took place at the Wiener Festwochen from May 17 until June 11, curated by Birgit Lurz and Wolfgang Schlag. More information can be found online.

A newspaper is freely available at the Pavilion and various sites in Venice, and can be downloaded here.

For all press enquiries please contact:

Chloe Nahum | Rees & Company
chloe@reesandco.com / M +44 (0)7742 239 178

NSK State Pavilion hours: Monday–Saturday 11am–7pm 

NSK State Pavilion
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