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 The NSK/Laibach TAZ 
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Joined: Wed Mar 19, 2008 3:19 am
Posts: 195
Location: Sweden
Post The NSK/Laibach TAZ
On the topic of TAZ:es started by kluss.

My favorite examples of a TAZ happened around the Slovenian art collective NSK in the late 80ies, early 90ies. NSK had subsidiaries, the most famous was/is the band Laibach. NSK/Laibach were born during the last years of Yugoslavia, which then was a communist style federation modeled around the cult of WW2 war hero Josip Tito. During the 80ies Yugoslavia was ruled by a totalitarian regime struggling to keep the Russians out and the federation together. It subsequently fell apart in the 90ies Balkan wars.

The art collective NSK/Laibach were a subversive force within Yugoslavia. But they found the perfect way to be so. They did it by praising Tito more than anyone else, by being more over the top raging patriotic than anyone else, while at the same time subtly hinting that it was all a joke. The regime didn't know what to make of them – and they were left alone. The TAZ exploited the fact that their regime didn't understand irony. It was the perfect safety mechanism. NSK exposed the soul of totalitarianism, in plain view, while living in the midst of it. They adopted the totalitarian language and insignias and became masters of the art form. No one was more nationalistic or praised or demanded the current totalitarian regime more than NSK/Laibach. The result was that people within the TAZ laughed their heads of whenever exposed to state sanctioned patriotism. Actually the state produced patriotism wasn't as good as the one they produced themselves.

An art group affiliated with NSK almost got into serious trouble in 1987. They entered a poster to an annual national competition 'The Day of Yugoslav Youth' held on Titos birthday. The competition was for the official poster for the prestigious event. The entry was a joke, they sent a reasonably well known nazi propaganda painting with the swastika replaced by a socialist symbol. They expected to be immediately found out and refused, instead to their horror they won. Thus proving the NSK point that left and right wing totalitarian propaganda look exactly the same. When the winning poster was published in a national paper the mistake was found out. But as the blunder was embarrassing the whole thing was quietly hushed up and no one got hurt. The TAZ safety mechanism worked again.

During the Balkan wars NSK proclaimed a new state(like everyone else did), the 'State of NSK' which was ”Not a state of territory, but a state of mind”. You can still get a passport for NSK I think. At least in the beginning the passport was a very official looking document, printed on the same paper stock as the regular Slovenian passports. It's rumored that artists used them to cross borders between waring countries. In the 90ies there were so many new countries that it wasn't necessarily easy for a border official to keep track of them. And none of them could imagine that an art collective was issuing passports. It's just not on the map.

The Wikipedia entry on Laibach says “Laibach has frequently been accused of both far left and far right political stances...”. I just love that sentence. Looking at the NSK/Laibach TAZ from the outside it just doesn't seem to make any sense whatsoever. This is probably the hallmark of a really good TAZ. Maybe a perfect one from the outside would look like static.

Just wanted to share this

- Splicer

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Tue May 19, 2009 1:31 pm
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Joined: Tue Apr 21, 2009 7:14 pm
Posts: 13
Post Re: The NSK/Laibach TAZ
yes intresting
sweden also had some simmerlar project in south sweden dont rember the name
new utopia is i guss somthing like that
tribes nomad somthing simmelers maybe travel arounbd in central asia or far out island in indonesia


Tue May 19, 2009 5:55 pm
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Joined: Tue Apr 21, 2009 7:14 pm
Posts: 13
Post Re: The NSK/Laibach TAZ
http://books.google.com/books?id=SJEg0p ... ate+utopia

intresting cosnpet too

btw why not make a link page to somthing simmlers sine biopunk looks a bit stucked into its owen ting get mrore readers and ideas ... maybe a link loop or waht it was called some years ago


Tue May 19, 2009 5:59 pm
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