In the 1980’s the NSK groups were using different names for their artistic procedures (Laibach – Retroavantgarde, IRWIN – Retro-principle and Scipion Nasice Sisters Theatre – Retrogarde). In the 1990’s, Peter Weibel launched a discursive matrix in an exhibition catalogue of the Steierische Herbst (Graz), in which he coded the ex-Yugoslav territory from ‘outside,’ subsuming the productions of Mladen Stilinović (Zagreb), the 1980’s Kasimir Malevich (Belgrade) and IRWIN (Ljubljana) under a common signifier: the ‘Retroavantgarde.’ I developed a dialectical interrelationship within which I designated their positions as those in a Hegelian triad: Mladen Stilinović as thesis; Malevich and the projects of copying as an antithesis; and IRWIN, with the projects of the NSK EMBASSIES (presented within the framework of the NSK State in Time), as synthesis. All three artists, groups or art projects utilize specific strategies of visualization to display aspects of Socialist and post-Socialist ideology. ‘Retroavantgarde’ is the new ‘ism’ of the East.
On June 6, 1992 between 2 pm and 3 pm, the group Irwin and Michael Benson performed an artistic action Black Square on the Red Square in collaboration with N. Abalakova (Tot-Art), D. Ariupin, M. Breznik, S. Bugayev (Africa), Charles, E. Čufer, B. Edelman, F. Fleck, J. Harten, J. Kollerova, V. Kesić, I. Koulik, E. and V. Kurlandzev, G. Kurierova, I. Smirnova, K. Tschouvaschew, K. Turchina and D. Živadinov. The 30-minute action consisted of the spreading out of a 22 m x 22 m square made of black fabric in the central part of Red Square.
“Cold Front From the Balkans” exhibition can be visited until 7 May at Pera Museum!