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Laibach at a Biennial of Contemporary Art in a Bosnian Atomic Bomb Shelter

04.22.13 Marina Galperina


To hell with the Armory. Pffft on Frieze. I know where I’m going — Konjic, Bosnia bitches!

Perhaps you’ve heard of the “Retro-Avantgardist” band Laibach. Laibach began as an avant-garde musical side project of the Neue Slowenische Kunst (NSK) art collective from Slovenia in the ’80s. They were surpassingly successful.

They dressed sharp, subverting propaganda imagery (Christian, Fascist, Communist) into non-political iconography of their own that commanded oomph and contentious discourse. They made industrial covers of the Rolling Stones and the Beatles. They confused people.  Žižek thought they were the tits!

Laibach is still active. And we’ve just learned that the the conceptual trolls have been invted to collaborate at a Biennial of Contemporary Art in an abandoned fall out shelter in former Yugoslavia.

Laibach was invited to collaborate at the Biennial of Contemporary Art, D-0 ARK Underground, taking place in Konjic, a small Bosnian town, in a Atomic shelter named ARK, which Yugoslav army built between 1953 and 1979. This shelter occupies a space of 6.500m2 and consists of 12 connected blocks. It resembles a complicated labyrinth, with residential areas, conference rooms, offices, strategic planning rooms, and other functional areas. The construction and existence of this bunker was kept secret until the 1990s, when ARK was finally revealed. ARK was built as a military bunker by the former Yugoslav People’s Army (JNA) to function as the Main Centre for Military Operations or Military Command and as the shelter for President Josip Broz Tito, his family and his closest associates in case of war. Laibach is exhibiting installation NATURA MORTA.

The Biennale will admit scheduled tours from April 26 through April 28, but only at assigned times, so visitors beware: “Access to the D-0 facility by private transport is not allowed without prior approval of the Defense Ministry of Bosnia and Herzegovina.” Visit the site for more info.

See some photos from a previous Biennialhin the slideshow. And bere’s a classic Laibach “interview.” And here’s me packing my bags.