Laibach and the NSK: Aestheticising the East/West Nexus in Post-Totalitarian Europe

  • Simon Bell Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, United Kingdom

Abstract

This paper reflects a study in how the Slovenian art collective the NSK (Neue Slowenische Kunst), and more specifically its sub-group Laibach, interrogate the representation of Central and Eastern European cultural memory in the context of post-Socialism, and operate as a nexus between Eastern Europe and the West. Emerging in the wake of Tito's death and shaped by the break-up of Yugoslavia, the NSK were founded in 1984, in Ljubljana (northern Slovenia).  The NSK is a multi-disciplinary collective primarily comprised of three groups: IRWIN (visual arts), Noordung (theatre), and its most influential delivery system, Laibach (music).  Brought to academic scrutiny in the West by Slavoj Žižek for their subversive strategy of over-identification with the totalitarian spectacle, Laibach are Slovenia’s most famous cultural export, with a global following, and an international and domestic history of controversy. With the strategy of Retrogardism, Laibach and the NSK re-mythologise totalitarian iconography associated with Nazi Kunst and Socialist Realism.  Through this process of re-mythologisation Laibach explore the unfinished narrative of Communism and the legacy of the European traumatic historical in the context of a ‘post-ideological’ age.

References

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How to Cite
BELL, Simon. Laibach and the NSK: Aestheticising the East/West Nexus in Post-Totalitarian Europe. Култура/Culture, [S.l.], n. 4, p. 105-114, nov. 2014. ISSN 1857-7725. Available at: <http://journals.cultcenter.net/index.php/culture/article/view/81>. Date accessed: 21 nov. 2019.
Section
English Articles

Keywords

Laibach, Neue Slowenische Kunst (NSK), Slovenia, Retrogardism, Post-Socialism