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Laibach. We Forge The Future

26 November, 2017 - 19:30 h / Sabatini Building, Auditorium

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Within the framework of the exhibition NSK from Kapital to Capital. Neue Slowenische Kunst. An Event of the Final Decade of Yugoslavia, the Museo Reina Sofía presents We Forge The Future, a performance by the industrial rock band Laibach, who formed in 1980 and is one of three landmark groups making up the Slovenian collective NSK (Neue Slowenische Kunst). The performance will be preceded by a guided tour of the exhibition led by Laibach member Ivan Novak.   

This performance, the first since it was initially staged on 23 April 1982 as part of the programme for the XII Music Biennale Zagreb, will see the band put together multimedia visuals with ten monitors showing the band’s experimental video Morte ai s’ciavi (Death to the Slaves, 1983) to a backdrop screening Milan Ljubić’s propaganda film Revolucija još traje (The Revolution Goes On, 1971), celebrating the achievements of socialist Yugoslavia. At certain points, running alongside archive sequences of Tito’s speech featured in Ljubić’s film, pornographic scenes from Laibach and Marijan Osole-Max’s film Documents of Oppression no. 2 (1983) will be superimposed and overlap. The combination of these images caused a huge scandal at the time as the authorities cleared out the room in which the activity was taking place and later started a media campaign against the band, which was banned in Slovenia until 1987.   

Laibach is an industrial rock band which formed on 1 June 1980 in Trbovlje. Similar to other NSK component groups, the collective exercises a multidisciplinary artistic practice, setting out from the concept of Gesamtkunstwerk, the total work of art, which spans different mediums and formats: collages, photographs, posters, paintings, video, installations, concerts and performance.  

The band are no strangers to controversy and ambiguity, and from the outset they have stirred different reactions among the authorities and the public alike, for instance their name, which is in reference to the German term for Ljubljana used during the years of German occupation. Moreover, their militant style, propaganda manifestos and totalitarian declarations have sparked widespread debate about their real artistic and political stance.      

This event is organized by Museo Reina Sofía within the framework of The uses of Art of L’Internationale.