Museum of contemporary art of Montenegro
Kruševac bb, Podgorica, Crna Gora
+382 20 243 914

Yesterday, in the Chamber Hall of the Music Centre of Montenegro, a lecture by Ivan Novak, one of the founders of the group Laibach, took place.

The lecture was introduced by MCAM curator Natalija Đuranović, who emphasized that Laibach has always been ahead of its time. She highlighted that over its multi-decade existence, Laibach has made a significant leap in thinking and perceiving the world around us.

“Laibach introduced appropriation and montage processes into its artistic practice, composing collages and bricolages, utilizing the possibilities of photocopiers, tape recorders, computers, video devices. They placed symbols of revolutionary past and media national symbols alongside cultural images of socialist realism and Nazi art, genre and historical painting next to Russian art, experiments, and more.”

Over four decades, Laibach has held more than a thousand concerts worldwide, in 295 cities and 45 countries. They have released 38 albums and sold over a million sound carriers. In the 1980s, they were banned in Yugoslavia, accused of flirting with fascism. Numerous films, shows, books, and doctoral dissertations have been dedicated to them.

“From their very beginnings, they have been active in various fields of audio-visual arts, representing one of the most subversive phenomena of the Slovenian and Yugoslav art scene of the 1980s,” concluded Đuranović.

Ivan Novak emphasized that the term Laibach Kunst signifies the principle of Laibach’s actions, extending beyond just music, primarily into visual arts but also into other forms of visual production.

“At the beginning, the group’s activities were quite evenly divided between visual and musical creation, but in the end, the latter prevailed.”

Novak stated that visual art has remained an important element of Laibach, referring to their visual production, which includes posters, paintings, artworks for music releases, video works, stage performances with performance elements, set design, and costumes.

In his lecture, Ivan Novak explains that the key guiding principle of Laibach Kunst is the integrated artistic work – Gesamtkunstwerk, which has a characteristic holistic, sensory and emotional, physical and mental effect.

“There is no longer a division between individual areas and disciplines; all means of expression function simultaneously in an expanded field of art.”

The controversial multimedia performances, Novak explained, largely produced images. The first was concentrated around the black cross, followed by a series of iconic images – Metalworker, Sower, Gear, Deer, Red Reviros, and others.

“Laibach’s images are an open sign that has no static meaning. They are permeated with ambiguity and polysemy; the contradiction in them is not resolved, and the reception is largely directed and determined by the strategy of shock and suggestive audio-visual assault on the senses.”

The lecture is part of the MCAM program, which also announces an exhibition by the group of the same name, scheduled for November of the current year.