April 10, 2012 - e-flux journal - e-flux journal issue 34 out now
April 10, 2012

e-flux journal issue 34 out now

e-flux journal issue 34 out now
With contributions by Inke Arns, Michael Baers, Mladen Dolar, Irmgard Emmelhainz, Bilal Khbeiz, John Miller, and Slavoj Žižek


Beyond performative resistance and melancholic complicity with the existing order, a crucial strategy emerged in the 1980s from a collective of artists in Yugoslavia who used complicity as its most lethal weapon. Inke Arns and Slavoj Žižek have respectively described the activities of NSK (Neue Slowenische Kunst) and its sub-groupings (the band Laibach, the artist collective IRWIN, and Scipion Našice Sisters Theatre, among others) variously in terms of over-identification or subversive affirmation, as performing the “hidden reverse” of state ideology. From Laibach’s nationalism in drag to the issuing of a passport for an imagined “NSK state,” NSK is perhaps now best known for having found a way to produce radical ruptures within the logic of totalitarian power without necessarily having to take recourse in critical distance.

An interesting twist to the story emerges when these strategies enter our present time, within a total economic regime that is less overtly coercive, and dependent rather on affirmative and inclusive modes of critique in a globally networked field of fluid friendships. Not only are many state structures far from authoritarian in their use of power, they are themselves subject to the flows of desire that comprise global trade. This makes it all the more fascinating to read Inke Arns’s account in this issue of the warm reception the NSK State passport received in Nigeria, where the fake passport was itself over-identified with—taken at its word and returned from the projective to the real by passport-holders who explained to her and IRWIN members Miran Mohar and Borut Vogelnik that they knew people who had in fact been to the NSK State. And it was a beautiful country.

The April 2012 issue of e-flux journal also features essays by Mladen Dolar and Slavoj Žižek, as the third and final installment of texts from the conference “One Divides Into Two: Dialectics, Negativity and Clinamen,” held at the Berlin Institute for Cultural Inquiry from March 28–30, 2011, and organized by Aaron Schuster, Gal Kirn, Pascale Gillot, and Ben Dawson.

—Julieta Aranda, Brian Kuan Wood, Anton Vidokle

In this issue:

Bilal Khbeiz—Escaping From Exile by Belonging to an Exiled Land
To make American art, we have two choices: to be aliens from outer space with total knowledge and no empathy for what we know—which explains why it is only in America that movies such as Star Wars and The Matrix are made. Or we transform ourselves into images of ourselves and allow the art scene to consume our flesh and blood for the sole purpose of becoming an image—as Michael Jackson did in his personal life and on stage.

Inke Arns—The Nigerian Connection: On NSK Passports as Escape and Entry Vehicles
Two of the NSK State’s founders, who had always thought of the state as an abstract concept and an intellectual tool, were suddenly confronted with a position that no longer maintained a “safe” ironic distance from the promise made by the NSK passport. They found themselves in a situation where it was necessary to speak very clearly and directly about what their state was and was not, and what its passport could and could not do.

Michael Baers—No Good Time for an Exhibition: Reflections on the Picasso in Palestine Project, Part II
Picasso in Palestine operates on many different levels: on an explicitly public level concerned with the encounter between an artwork and a public, and on a more occulted level, where the slow, peristaltic bureaucratic processes of large organizations like museums and nation-states rumble along in darkness and obscurity.

John Miller—Politics of Hate in the USA, Part II: Right-wing Mysticism and Beliefs
Clearly, this inverse logic is a compensatory rationalization of otherwise unacceptable social changes. It pertains not so much to active cultural dissent itself as it does to withdrawal from status quo adversity. A disaffected person is always the most susceptible to this form of belief. One can always more easily scapegoat another than confront one’s own failings. Consensus within a cult, moreover, can intensify and seemingly objectify almost any belief.

Mladen Dolar—Hegel and Freud
In brief, absolute knowledge and the unconscious, two boundaries of knowledge, the upper and the lower—on the one hand, the knowledge that strives to overstep its limits by its claim to the absolute; on the other hand, a hole in knowledge, a slippage of knowledge where desires, drives, symptoms, and fantasies start seeping in. If absolute knowledge and the unconscious still function as unplaceable excesses, what could be their link?

Slavoj Žižek—Hegel on Marriage
What Hegel does here is bring forward the “performative” function of the marriage ceremony. Even if this ceremony appears to the love partners as a mere bureaucratic formalism, it enacts the inscription of the sexual link into the big Other, the inscription which radically changes the subjective position of the concerned parties. This explains the well-known fact that married people are more attached to their spouses than it may appear (to themselves also).

Irmgard Emmelhainz—Jean-Luc Godard’s “Militant Filmmaking” Between Objective Engagement and Engaged Activism (1967-1974), Part I
It is often argued that between 1967 and 1974 Godard operated under a misguided assessment of the social and political situation and produced the equivalent of “terrorism” in filmmaking. He did this, as the argument goes, by both subverting the formal operations of narrative film and by being biased toward an ideological political engagement.

The print edition of e-flux journal can now be found at:
Amsterdam: De Appel / Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten Andratx: CCA Andratx Antwerp: M HKA Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst Athens: OMMU Auckland: split/fountain Austin: Arthouse at the Jones Center Baden-Baden: Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden Banff: Walter Phillips Gallery, The Banff Centre Barcelona: Arts Santa Monica / MACBA Basel: Kunsthalle Basel, Museum fur Gegenwartskunst Beijing and Guangzhou: Vitamin Creative Space Beirut: 98weeks Belgrade: Cultural Center of Belgrade Bergen: Bergen Kunsthall / Rakett Berlin: b_books / Berliner Künstlerprogramm – DAAD / do you read me? / NBK, Neuer Berliner Kunstverein / Pro qm Berlin and Zurich: Motto Bern: Kunsthalle Bern Bialystok: Arsenal Gallery Bielefeld: Bielefelder Kunstverein Birmingham: Eastside Projects / Ikon Gallery Bologna: MAMbo – Museo d’Arte Moderna di Bologna Bregenz: Kunsthaus Bregenz Bristol: Arnolfini Brussels: Wiels Bucharest: National Museum of Contemporary Art Bucharest (MNAC) / Pavilion Unicredit Cairo: Contemporary Image Collective (CIC) / Townhouse Gallery Calgary: The New Gallery Cambridge: Wysing Arts Center Castello: Espai d´art contemporani de Castelló (EACC) Chicago: Graham Foundation / The Renaissance Society Cologne: Kölnischer Kunstverein Copenhagen: Overgaden Dubai: Traffic Dublin: Dublin City, The Hugh Lane / Project Arts Centre Dusseldorf: Kunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westfalen Eindhoven: Van Abbemuseum Farsta: Konsthall C Frankfurt: Städelschule / Portikus Gdansk: Centrum Sztuki Współczesnej Łaźnia Genève: Centre de la Photographie Ghent: S.M.A.K Glasgow: CCA Centre for Contemporary Arts / Sculpture Studios Graz: Grazer Kunstverein / Kunsthaus Graz / para_SITE Gallery Grijon: LABoral Centre for Art and Creative Industries Hamburg: Kunstverein Helsinki: Museum of Contemporary Art KIASMA Hobart: CAST Gallery / INFLIGHT Hong Kong: Asia Art Archive Istanbul: BAS / CDA – Projects / DEPO / SALT Innsbruck: Galerie im Taxispalais Johannesburg: Center for Historical Reenactments Kristiansand: SKMU Sørlandet Art Museum Kansas City: La Cucaracha Press Klagenfurt: Press Kunstraum Lakeside Leeds: Pavilion Lisbon: Caribic Residency / Maumaus, Escola de Artes Visuais / Oporto Loughborough: Radar, Loughborough University Ljubljana: Moderna Galerija LLandudno: Mostyn London: Architectural Association/Bedford Press / Gasworks / ICA / Serpentine Gallery/ The Showroom / Visiting Arts Los Angeles: REDCAT Luxembourg: Casino Luxembourg Madrid: Brumaria / CA2M / Pensart Maastricht: Jan van Eyck Academie Marfa: Ballroom Marfa Melbourne: Monash University Museum of Art / World Food Books Mexico City: Proyectos Monclova Milan: Fondazione Nicola Trussardi, Hangar Bicocca Milton Keynes: Milton Keynes Gallery Minneapolis: Walker Arts Center Moncton: Fixed Cog Hero (a bicycle courier company) Montreal: Canadian Centre for Architecture Moscow: Garage Center for Contemporary Culture Munich: Museum Villa Stuck / Walther Koenig Bookshop, Haus der Kunst Munich New Delhi: Sarai CSDS New York: e-flux / Independent Curators International (ICI) / Printed Matter, Inc Nottingham: Nottingham Contemporary Omaha: Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts Oslo: Kunstnernes Hus Oxford: Modern Art Oxford Padona: Fondazione March Paris: castillo/corrales – Section 7 Books / Centre Pompidou / Les Laboratoires d’Aubervilliers Philadelphia: Bodega Pori: Pori Art Museum Porto: Museu de Arte Contemporânea de Serralves Portland: Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, (PICA) / Publication Studio Prague: Dox Centre for Contemporary Art Prishtina: Stacion – Center for Contemporary Art Prishtina Providence: AS220 Reykjavik: Reykjavik Art Museum Riga: Kim? Rio de Janeiro: Capacete / A Gentil Carioca Rome: MACRO Museo d’Arte Contemporanea Roma / Opera Rebis Rotterdam: Piet Zwart Institute / Witte de With Saint-Nazaire: Le Grand Cafe, Centre D’art Contemporain Salzburg: Salzburger Kunstverein San Antonio: Artpace São Paulo: Master in Visual Arts, Faculdade Santa Marcelina Sarajevo: Sarajevo Center for Contemporary Art Seoul: The Books / The Book Society Sherbrooke: Foreman Art Gallery of Bishop’s University Skopje: Press to Exit Project Space Sofia: ICA Sofia / Sofia Art Gallery St Erme Outre et Ramecourt: Performing Arts Forum St Louis: White Flag Projects Stockholm: Bonniers Konsthall / IASPIS / Index / Konstfack, University College of Art, Craft and Design Stuttgart: Württembergischer Kunstverein Sydney: Artspace Tallinn: Kumu Art Museum of Estonia The Hague: Stroom Den Haag Toronto: Mercer Union / The Power Plant Torun: Centre of Contemporary Art Znaki Czasu in Torun Umeå: Bildmuseet, Umeå University Utrecht: BAK, basis voor actuele kunst / Casco-Office for Art, Design and Theory Vaduz: Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein Valletta: Malta Contemporary Art Foundation Vancouver: ARTSPEAK / Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, University of British Columbia / Fillip / Motto / READ Books, Charles H. Scott Gallery, Emily Carr University of Art and Design Vienna: Salon für Kunstbuch, Belvedere Gallery Vigo: MARCO, Museo de Arte Contemporanea de Vigo Vilnius: Contemporary Art Centre (CAC) Vitoria-Gasteiz: Montehermoso Kulturunea Visby: BAC, Baltic Art Center Warsaw: Zachęta Narodowa Galeria Sztuki / Zachęta National Gallery of Art Wiesbaden: Nassauischer Kunstverein (NKV) Yerevan: Armenian Center For Contemporary Experimental Art, NPAK Zagreb: Galerija Miroslav Kraljevic / Gallery Nova / Institute for Duration, Location and Variables, DeLVe Zurich: Postgraduate Program in Curating, Zürich University of the Arts / Shedhalle / White Space.

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