Sunday, September 16, 2007
Logo #47: Laibach
Ivan Novak, prime mover behind Slovenian arts anthem makers Laibach, discusses their emblem: "The authorship of the Laibach logo is a complex one. First of all, it's taken and synthesized from history; from its various uses and contents. Therefore, the author is collective history / memory. Second - Laibach is a collective by definition and we practice collective authorship. We picked it up and created it in 1980 - we found the image, which initiated our choice of the logo, on the street in Ljubljana: the iron lid of the canals system dated from the first half of the 20th century: the cross, cog-wheel and the name Laibach, (which was the) German historical name for Ljubljana. It was all there." On its resemblance to the Malevich cross: "Malevich is only a small part in the cross. The history of cross is of course much bigger and longer and universally more applicable than the one from Malevich." So it's not simply a detourned Malevich cross? "Of course not. Why should it be? The cross was "imposed" on us as the universal cultural, political, and social symbol, carrying "the big mystery" - a big empty "nothing" which could be filled up by practically anything. References to Malevich go only as much as we believe that the cross - even as a purely abstract, suprematist symbol - can never really be without energy, without the "content" and the meaning in whatever ideological context it appears. Irwin - the NSK group, specializing in icon paintings and art - started to relate their later work ideologically more to Malevich than to Laibach, because with their original relation to Laibach iconography there were constantly described only as the "Nazi artists" - even within the very "tolerant" art world."