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

The Museum of Contemporary Art of Montenegro is pleased to announce a lecture by Ivan Novak from the group “Laibach,” scheduled for February 2, 2024, at the Chamber Hall of the Music Centre of Montenegro at 5:00 PM.

Ivan Novak, one of the founders of the group “Laibach,” will speak about Laibach as a “Gesamtkunstwerk,” introducing the interested public to their movement and the unique energy of urbanity and alternative culture. Natalija Đuranović, curator at MCAM, will also participate in the lecture.

“They have always been ahead of their time and not fully understood. Fresh and modern, they love the contemporary moment and react to it. Throughout its multi-decade existence, Laibach has made a significant leap in thinking and perceiving the world around us. Since its foundation in 1980, it has sparked numerous controversies due to the parody of militaristic, nationalist, and totalitarian iconography, and it was censored in Socialist Yugoslavia, leading to international tours,” emphasized Đuranović.

Laibach was founded in 1980 in Trbovlje, as part of the Slovenian or, at that time, the broader Yugoslav punk and alternative artistic movement of the 80s. Their provocative stance from the beginning was seen as a response to the totalitarianism of the former SFRY. Laibach does not challenge the system through parody or direct criticism; their specific form of provocation is usually defined as over-identification. Or, as they say themselves: “Art and totalitarianism are not mutually exclusive. Totalitarian regimes abolish the illusion of revolutionary individual artistic freedom.”

Ivan Novak emphasizes that Laibach’s Kunst principle is a conscious renunciation of personal taste, judgment, and beliefs. “It is free depersonalization, voluntary assumption of the role of ideology, unmasking, and recapitulation of regime postmodernism.”

“Politics is the highest form of popular culture, and we, who create contemporary popular culture, consider ourselves politicians.” However, Novak points out that every art form is susceptible to political manipulation, except for that which speaks the language of that same manipulation – “To speak in a political expression means to reveal and acknowledge the omnipresence of politics.”

Their program, outlined in the document “Laibach: 10 Points of Convention” (1982), envisions, among other things, a working method inspired by industrial production and totalitarian regimes, where the voice of the organization is more important than the voice of the individual. Thus, the attribution of individual authors was never highlighted formally in their artworks; they always appeared under the title Laibach or Laibach Kunst.

The event is co-produced with the Music Centre of Montenegro.