Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Neue Slowenische Kun..

On Saturday fearsome Slovenes Laibach appear at Tate Modern. The band's performance is the climax of a day of events at the gallery examining the work of the art collective of which they're part, Neue Slovenische Kunst.

In 2004, Laibach released a greatest hits compilation, Anthems, which included a booklet featuring 'essential' paintings. The accompanying sleevenotes posited their work - bombastic cover versions of such pop fodder as The Final Countdown, Life is Life and Queen's One Vision - as 'ready mades', and now they're appearing at Tate Modern, home to Marcel Duchamp's Fountain.

The terminology shifts the accusations of fascism typically levelled at the band onto the songs themselves. The audience at the last Laibach concert I went to - supporting their album of re-versions of national anthems - was all long leather trenchcoats and sharp haircuts but was less threatening than that at other '80s electro bands' gigs I've been to, notably for Martin Gore and Heaven 17, when a fight broke out.

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