Laibach is Slovenian collective, founding member of the Neue Slowenische Kunst (NSK). Formed in June 1980 in Trbovlje (former Yugoslavia), it owes its name to the historic German designation of “Ljubljana”, Slovenia’s capital. From the start, these artists have developed a Gesamtkunstwerk, a multi-disciplinary approach engaging in various creative fields (music, concert, performance, poster, collage, painting, installation, video, etc.) They are practicing collective work defined as “retro-avant-garde”, creatively questioning quotation, appropriation, (re)contextualisation, and copyright. The main recurring elements of their varied productions are strong references to avant-garde movements, Nazi-Kunst and socialist realism for their production of visual art, de-individualisation in their public performances as an anonymous quartet dressed in uniforms, and forceful sonic stage performances –mainly labelled as industrial (pop) music. They became internationally renowned foremost on the music scene, particularly with their unique cover-versions and interpretations of hits by Queen, The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, etc. However, all of Laibach’s performances have been radically self-reflexive in a way that responds to the functions ascribed to ‘political art’ in contemporary society, rather than to the consumerist and escapist nature of popular music. As such, they represent a unique challenge to the categories established by Western art criticis.
2012.03.16 - 05.19
Of the countless artists who have engaged in institutional critiques, few have paid much heed to art history. And yet the history of art imposes, far less…Read more