The IRWIN group was founded in Ljubljana (Slovenia) in 1983. Its members are Dusan Mandic, Miran Mohar, Andrej Savski, Roman Uranjek and Borut Vogelnik. IRWIN, along with the music group Laibach (1980), the theatre group Gledališče sester Scipion Nasice (1983), later known as the Kozmokinetični kabinet Noordung, and the design department Novi kolektivizem, comprises one of the core groups within the artists’ collective Neue Slowenische Kunst (NSK), established in 1984 in the Slovenian Republic of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. IRWIN is committed to the so-called ‘retro-principle’ which is “not a style or an art trend but a principle of thought, a way of behaving and acting”(IRWIN).

In its artistic projects the group IRWIN has been involving itself extensively with the art history of Europe, in particular with the ambivalent inheritance of the historical avant-gardes and its totalitarian successors. Following the creation of a specific visual language in their predominantly painterly projects of the 1980s, the group has been concentrating since the 1990s on a critical examination of the art history of “Western Modernism”, countering it with the “retro-avant-garde” of a fictive “Eastern Modernism” which, in its own obvious artificiality, points to the artificiality of Western art historical structures that continue to exclude contemporary Eastern European art to this day. With their artistic practice they had actively and concretely intervened in social and historical activities in the decade that redefined the status of art in Eastern Europe (Kapital, NSK Embassy Moscow, Transnacionala, East Art Map projects).

Recent exhibitions and project include: NSK (Neue Slowenische Kunst)From Kapital to Capital, Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid (2017) and Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven and Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow (2016); IRWIN Planting Seeds Łaźnia Centre for Contemporary Art in Gdansk, Poland (2016); NSK (Neue Slowenische Kunst)From Kapital to Capital, Moderna galerija, Ljubljana; Eastward, Freedom, Borders, Projections, Ludwig Forum Aachen (2015); Hans in Luck – Art and Capital, Lehmbruck Museum, Duisburg; Dreams and Conflicts, Galleria Civica di Modena, Modena (2014); Former West, HKW, Berlin (2013); A Bigger Splash, Tate Modern, London; NSK Passport Office, Museum of Modern Art, New York, Manifesta, Genk, (2012); The Global Contemporary. The Art Worlds after 1989, ZKM /Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe, Karlsruhe, The International, MACBA, Barcelona (2011); The Promises of the Past, Centre Pompidou, Paris, 2010, State in Time, Kunsthalle Krems (2009); Here Is Every, Museum of Modern Art, New York, (2008-09); NSK Passport Holders, Taipei Biennial, Taipei Art Museum (2008); Birds of a Feather, Akbank Art Center, Istanbul, (2006-07).

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