NSK State Pavilion Venice 2017


The NSK State Pavilion, alongside an event that is defined by cultural ambitions, provides the unique opportunity to rethink what a contemporary state should be. In particular, NSK State-in-Time offers an open form of citizenship that contrasts markedly with the spatial states. This pavilion will therefore put the issues that most trouble the states of today – migration, citizenship, history and identity. Given its location in Venice, it will also provoke questions about European heritage and its relation to the actual people living here. This pavilion will seek to generate ideas from a range of individuals about how to build new collectivities and shared histories between peoples. While fragmentation and antagonism seems to be the only prospects for Europe’s immediate future, NSK Pavilion will try to look beyond the deprived horizon and try to imagine a new community. 


As a state, NSK is inevitably grounded in the European traditions of governance and civil sovereignty. It is, however distantly, a successor of the states that established themselves largely through conquest and domination with the first colonial occupations. In order to open a territory-in-time beyond this history, it is first necessary to accept the burden of that past. Therefore, the first NSK State-in-Time Pavilion will make with an apology, a gesture that as has been done by a number of European and post-colonial states in the past. Specifically, the NSK State-in-Time will make an “apology for Modernity” as a first step towards shaping a new kind of future.


The current situation might be described as the “New Symbolic Disorder” of the world and the NSK State-in-Time Pavilion is an attempt to create a place where this state of affairs can be imagined in artistic, social and cultural-political endeavor/ engagement. To this end, the NSK Pavilion will present the responses of different individuals (citizens, migrants and stateless individuals) to the idea of how a new material and immaterial heritage could be built on the ruins of the old world heritage. A new model of citizenship can only be constructed by listening to all the different sides that are needed to form these collectivities.

As a first step, ten to fifteen external ambassadors/advisors working with migrant communities will invite another 9 individuals from their personal network to respond to a specific setting of questions concerning imagining a new state paradigm. In addition, asylum seekers both inside Europe and those hoping to travel here will be asked to respond through writings, drawings, recordings or other means of expression. Also existing NSK citizens across the world will be invited to respond online.

The artist and NSK citizen Ahmet Öğüt, Turkey, has been invited to give form and content to a presentation built around the various responses to the questions, as his personal history as a migrant in Europe makes him a referent figure for the development of this process together with appointed specialist of the field.


Venue: Palazzo Ca’ Tron – Università IUAV die Venezia, Calle del Forno 1960
(Vaporetto stop: San Stae)

Become an NSK citizen

Text from the NSK web site


Thomas Büsch

Filmmaker, Founding Member and Secretary General of diyalog, promotion of cultural exchange with Turkey. Since 2012 he is also project manager of InEnArt.

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