The Consulate General of Zaqistan


by Zaq Landsberg

February 25 - March 3, 2012
Opening ceremony : Friday, February 24, from 6-10pm

chashama 655 Gallery
655 3rd Ave
(between 41st and 42nd Street)

Open daily : 11am to 7pm

The Zaqistan State Department and chashama are pleased to present The Consulate General of Zaqistan, New York City.

The Consulate General of Zaqistan (CGZ) is an effort to expand Zaqistan’s global presence and influence beyond its desert borders. A temporary sovereign territory within New York City, the CGZ will provide a base of operations for this expansion, which will reach out to citizens, the general public, the press, and world leaders.

The CGZ will feature displays historicizing the recent past, artifacts and wildlife specimens, photographs, maps, wall texts, a timeline, and educational videos.  In addition, there will be a Project Space within the CGZ, a workshop area for new infrastructure projects, monuments, and gifts for the UN, and the City of New York from the Republic of Zaqistan.  The CGZ will also feature a naturalization/passport station, where visitors may choose to become citizens, take the oath and apply and get issued a passport.

The Consulate General will also function as a space for Zaqistani outreach through public programming.  In the Nation Building workshop, children develop their own personal nation, making flags, seals, passports and currency, history, mythology and laws.  Participants develop printmaking, graphic design, and creative writing skills, while also thinking about what their actions mean in a larger global context (economically, socially, and politically).  There will be lectures on the geopolitical context and implications of Zaqistan and new citizen mixers (Dates TBA).

This project supported in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

For more information contact zaqistan@gmail.com, or visit zaqistan.com

About the artist:
Zaq Landsberg is a Brooklyn based visual artist and founder of the Republic of Zaqistan. Originally from Los Angeles, He specializes in large scale, site specific sculptures, absurd objects and potentially treasonous conceptual art projects.
He has shown work and lectured in New York City, Los Angeles, Buenos Aires, Zaqistan, Baltimore, Chicago and Zaqistan.  His past projects have included a giant cowering piñata, a 1:1 scale Stealth Fighter covered in astroturf and a breakaway Republic of Zaqistan.  He holds a BFA from NYU.

In 2005, Zaq purchased two acres of extremely remote Utah desert land through eBay. After venturing out to survey it, he seceded from the United States of America and founded the Republic of Zaqistan. He returns to the nation every year, and with the help of dozens of loyal Zaqistani citizens, has built an array of monuments on the land. These include a victory arch, a customs booth/immigration station, a giant flag pole, three robotic sentinels, and a sandbag bunker. Several hundred people around the world have become Zaqistani citizens. Zaqistan issues passports, and has already set up an Embassy in Buenos Aires Argentina.

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