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The Nonument Group

From Nowhere to Noplace, Pioneer Railway



The Pioneer Railway was a four-kilometer-long narrow-gauge railway built by young pioneers and youth brigades in 1948. After the war, these children-managed railways were envisioned as educational projects that would encourage responsibility, diligence, dedication and the love of technology in children. Their purpose was to train children for life within society and to also serve as a pastime. Ljubljana’s Pioneer Railway was abandoned in 1954. Its remnants were soon disassembled and moved elsewhere, its route soon forgotten.


The Nonument Group, From Nowhere to Noplace, Pioneer Railway, 2019.
Photo: Peter Giodani. Courtesy of the artists.  


The starting point of Nonument Group’s From Nowhere to Noplace, Pioneer Railway (2019) is a seemingly unremarkable bike path that runs parallel to Ljubljana’s Večna pot. On 25th of May, 2019, the date of Tito’s Youth Day, the Group organised a night-time performative walk, on which the participants listened to a sound essay while three performers guided them through illuminated landscapes and performed various choreographies. This then served as the basis for a video by the same name, in which recordings from the walk are complemented by performative works and photographs of the Pioneer Railway from the archive of the Slovenian Railway Museum. Finally, the project has also been transformed into an exhibition that features a proposal for an archive of the Pioneer Railway, a series of photographs and the video essay itself.





The Nonument Group, From Nowhere to Noplace, Pioneer Railway, 2019.
Photo: DK. Courtesy of the artists.

The Nonument Group, From Nowhere to Noplace, Pioneer Railway, 2019.
Photo: Peter Giodani. Courtesy of the artists.
The Nonument Group, From Nowhere to Noplace, Pioneer Railway, 2019, video still. Courtesy of the artists.


The Nonument Group is a research/art collective comprising Neja Tomšič, Martin Bricelj Baraga, Nika Grabar and Miloš Kosec. Their process involves examining the ideas of remembering and forgetting in the context of space with the concept of nonuments: monuments, public spaces and infrastructure whose purpose has been modified as a consequence of societal or political changes. Some of the Group’s notable projects are: Nonument 01: McKeldin Fountain; From Nowhere to Noplace, Pioneer Railway; and TGH-48: Nothing Can Happen Here. Nonument01 (under the stewardship of Lisa Moren) is a virtual reality reconstruction of a demolished brutalist fountain in Baltimore, which was a place of free speech and an important venue for protests. The reconstruction enables the participants to walk through an actual-size version of the fountain and also serves as a repository for memories related to the fountain. TGH-48: Nothing Can Happen Here was a sonic journey through Savin Sever’s car park at Ambrožev trg. In 2021, the Group received the Plečnik Medal for their contribution to the enrichment of architectural culture.



Etc. is an annual magazine, dedicated to showcasing current artistic production from the Baltic to the Balkans.
Based in Ljubljana, Slovenia, each issue is dedicated to a relevant topic in art and life. Founded to promote emerging artists, its goal is to initiate a dialogue, inspire collaborations, and challenge set views.