Our “Cold Front from the Balkans” exhibition focuses on different generations of artists and art groups from the Balkan region. Throughout the exhibition, we keep sharing detailed information about the artworks. Take a look at Laibach, a music and cross-media group from Slovenia established on the 1st of June 1980 in Trbovlje.
The name of the band is the historic German version of the name of Slovenia’s capital Ljubljana. From the start Laibach has developed a “Gesamtkunstwerk” – multi-disciplinary art practice in all fields ranging from popular culture to art. Since their beginnings the group was associated and surrounded with political controversy. The main elements of Laibach’s varied practices are: strong references to avant-garde art history, nazi-kunst and socialist realism for their production of visual art, de-individualisation in their public performances as an anonymous quartet dressed in uniforms, conceptual proclamations, and forceful sonic stage performances – mainly labelled as industrial (pop) music. Laibach is practicing collective work, dismantling individual authorship and establishing the principle of hyper-identification. In 1983 they have invented and defined the term ‘retro-avant-garde’.
The exhibited video shows Laibach’s interview in June 1983 on the current affairs programme TV Tednik (TV Weekly), dealing mainly with social and political issues. Wearing military fatigues (smuggled from the Yugoslav army) and white armbands bearing a simple black cross, Laibach were interviewed in front of graphic images of large political rally (there own posters in fact) more than a little reminiscent of those in Nuremberg whilst answering to interview questions. Their extremely provocative appearance prompted the show’s host to brand them “enemies of the people”. Following this, all planned public appearances of the group was banned and they initiated the founding of the wider guerrilla art collective NSK (Neue Slowenische Kunst). This led to the establishment of a strong platform for social, cultural and political activity within the climate of liberalisation and pluralisation in 1980’s Yugoslavia.
“Cold Front From the Balkans” exhibition can be visited until 7 May at Pera Museum!