Artists: Nonument Group
Venue: the former Pioneer Railway tracks, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Dates: 25 May 2019 at 9 pm
Comissioned by: MoTA – Museum of Transitory Art; in collaboration with Lightning Guerilla

Nonument Group: From Nowhere to Noplace, The Pioneer Railway

The Nonument Group’s second action took place in Ljubljana on the location of the former Pioneer Railway that operated between 1948 and 1954. On 25 May 2019, an artistic intervention revived the children’s railway that almost completely disappeared from the city and public memory. The idea for children’s railways, or pioneer railways as they were called at the time, originated in the USSR and spread quickly over the Eastern Bloc, from China to Cuba. Children’s railways are fully operational smaller-scale railways that “have a track gauge of at least 600 mm and can carry full size narrow gauge rolling stock.” They are a peculiar kind of extracurricular institutions: children perform all the jobs, except for the train driving, under the supervision of adult railway workers. Ljubljana’s railway was built by Yugoslav youth brigades between March and June 1948. Initially, it was very popular, but the public quickly lost interest, so it was finally closed down in 1954. While the rail tracks were removed almost immediately, some of the train stations along the line remained in place for many years after the railway ceased to operate, but were mostly left to decay or were repurposed and renovated. Nevertheless, one can still find some remains along the former children’s railway line. Part of the line is now a bicycle lane, and an eager observer can spot some of the remaining marker stones along the way.

Nonument Group’s intervention envisioned a multidisciplinary approach joining research based practice with elements of performance, narration, visual and sound elements. The intervention, addressing themes of memory and erasure in relation to infrastructure and ideology, was formed as a performative light and sound walk on the former tracks of the Pioneer Railway.


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Museum of Transitory Art

MoTA –

Museum of Transitory Art

MoTA is a multidisciplinary platform dedicated to advancing the research, production and presentation of transitory, experimental, and live art forms.

MoTA is a museum without a permanent collection or a fixed space. Instead, its programs are realised in different locations and contexts in temporary physical and virtual spaces.

MoTA organizes and supports transitory art in the form of continuous events, exhibitions and educational programs both locally and internationally. As its name indicates, MoTA examines what a museum can be today and in the future.

MoTA is in constant search for the new, the uncertain, and the undefined.

MoTA works on several continuous programmes & projects. We run MoTA Point – a Space for Art & Ideas, we curate and produce the annual SONICA Festival, in addition to regular music programmes such as SONICA Series and SONICA Classics.

Within the years of running our residency programme, we’ve established T.R.I.B.E. – a network of residency spaces in the Balkans & Eastern Europe.

We’ve also initiated the research and archive platforms and Mediateque MoTA & Tomaž Brate. Our educational programmes serve a broader audience with ongoing workshops, talks, symposia, and internships.