Zdenka Badovinac

Zdenka Badovinac is a curator and writer. Since 1993 she has been the Director of the Moderna galerija in Ljubljana. She is the author of Body and the East: From the 1960s to the Present (MIT Press).

  • Unannounced Voices of Change

    Situated Curatorial and Institutional Practices

    Zdenka Badovinac

    Alternative forms of curatorial and institutional work suitable to our novel conditions, when the relationship between physical and online work must be revised.

    Never before has the entire world been caught up nearly simultaneously in such a similar experience as in this era of the pandemic, which has only accelerated the spiraling crises of our time. The experiences that artists and curators now address, and even the very sense of experience itself, are more situated than local, extending beyond demarcated localities and individual communities, and resonating in precise yet expanded contexts of culture, space, and time. This book proposes alternative forms of curatorial and institutional work suitable to our novel conditions, when the relationship between physical and online work must be revised in the name of a new sense of the situated, and as various economies of solidarity are already developing.

    The predominant forms of curatorial production (exhibitions, conferences, publications, etc.) have long considered and even depended on geographical difference, on different localities and the fragility of social groups, yet they always translate these conditions into their own dominant language. What gets lost in translation is the body of the one being translated—the situation of each voice, each body. It is possible to retrieve these vulnerable bodies of people, artworks, and exhibitions, but only if curatorial work and institutions begin to develop this crucial sense of the situated that by necessity, by a new urgency of distance and closeness, must transform the idea of the local in the age of pandemic relations.

    • Paperback $19.95
  • NSK from Kapital to Capital

    NSK from Kapital to Capital

    Neue Slowenische Kunst—an Event of the Final Decade of Yugoslavia

    Zdenka Badovinac, Eda Čufer, and Anthony Gardner

    The generously illustrated, lavishly documented story of NSK (Neue Slowenische Kunst), the eastern European art collective present at the last revolution of the twentieth century.

    This book is the generously illustrated, lavishly documented, critically narrated story of one of the most significant art collectives of the late twentieth century.

    In 1984, three groups of artists in post-Tito Yugoslavia—the music and multimedia group Laibach, the visual arts group Irwin, and the theater group Scipion Nasice Sisters Theater—came together to form the Neue Slowenische Kunst (NSK) art collective.

    Adopting the symbols, codes, appearances, and discourses of fascism, nationalism, state power, socialist-realist, and avant-garde art, and pushing the strategies of overidentification and subversive affirmation to their limits, NSK exposed the common foundations of various regimes, systems, and ideologies, while affirming that “art and totalitarianism are not mutually exclusive.”

    Employing music, video, film, exhibitions, writing, graphic design, architecture, theater, and public relations to probe the aesthetic possibilities of declining socialism and proliferating capitalism, NSK introduced an idiosyncratic version of postmodernism (the Retro-Avant-Garde) into the globalizing cultural sphere.

    Combining primary documents, period artifacts, critical essays, and contextual notes, NSK from Kapital to Capital documents NSK's collective practice during the final decade of Yugoslavia—from the first (and banned) Laibach concert (1980) in a small proletarian mining town in Slovenia to the series of projects launched by individual NSK groups entitled Kapital (1991-92). This illuminating chronicle of NSK's work and its reception is produced in conjunction with the first major museum exhibition devoted to NSK. Designed by Novi Kolektivizem (New Collectivism), the graphic design section of NSK, the cover of each individual copy of the book is printed with a custom detail; no two covers exactly are the same.

    Copublished with Moderna Galerija / Museum of Modern Art, Ljubljana, Slovenia.

    ContributorsEda Čufer, Goran Đorđević, Slavoj Žižek, Marina Gržinić, Rastko Močnik, Marina Gržinić, Lev Kreft, Tomaž Mastnak, Mladen Dolar, Chrissie Iles, Boris Groys, Inke Arns, Alexei Monroe, Catherine Wood, Daniel Ricardo Quiles, Anthony Gardner, Barbara Borčič, Alexei Yurchak, Dejan Kršić, and others

    ExhibitionModerna galerija, Ljubljana: 12 May–17 August 2015 Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven: March–August, 2016Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow: Fall 2016

    • Paperback $49.95
  • Body and the East

    Body and the East

    From the 1960s to the Present

    Zdenka Badovinac

    A survey of art produced and performed—often at personal and political risk to the artist—in fourteen East European countries under communist and post-communist conditions.

    With essays by Joseph Backstein, Iara Boubnova, Jurij Krpan, Ileana Pintilie, Kristine Stiles, Branka Stipancic, Igor Zabel, and others The earliest "body art" was created in Eastern Europe in the early 1960s. The term "body art" includes a wide range of practices in which the artist's own body is the bearer of social, political, metaphorical, and philosophical content. This book includes essays on eighty artists from fourteen countries: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, the former GDR, Hungary, Lithuania, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Yugoslavia. Introductory essays by Zdenka Badovinac and Kristine Stiles discuss the tradition of an art form that emerged during socialism in cultural centers such as Prague, Belgrade, Ljubljana, Warsaw, and Zagreb. In these places public actions, particularly on the street, were often banned—and artists arrested—by the police. Therefore many of the actions documented here took place in private apartments, with the artists performing at great personal risk. The art survived not only despite the absence of any art market, but also despite its marginalization by political regimes. The artists turned their marginalization to an advantage, creating art out of the contingencies and necessities of survival. The art represented here reminds us of the psychological and intellectual freedoms that artistic expression affords under politically repressive conditions. This bilingual (Slovenian/English) book was originally published in conjunction with a major retrospective exhibition of body art held last year at the Museum of Modern Art in Ljubljana. Some of the artists, such as Marina Abramovic and Komar & Melamid, are well known internationally. Others, such as Alexander Brener, Sanja Ivekovic, Laibach, Paul Neagu, and Marko Peljhan, are known to special audiences in the East and West.

    • Paperback $6.75