Laibach's The Whistleblowers and the accompanying video by Morten Traavik deliver yet another dose of the Neue Slowenische Kunst art collective’s trademark ambiguity. And if you’ve been following Image Oscillite for for a few years, you know I consider that to be a an unambiguously good thing.
Laibach is really hard to pin down. A lot of people see their work as satire, but that’s not quite it. They certainly deal in absurdities and extremes, but the thread of totalitarianism that runs through most of their work takes it somewhere beyond humor. I prefer to look at their work as well-considered ambiguity that can be either menacing or laughable, depending on your mindset.
An animated film for a Bob Dylan cover released by the US Embassy in Ljubljana. It’s unclear if this is an official video. There’s actually a lot that I don’t understand about this.
This poorly translated statement from Laibach doesn’t help:
Bob Dylan is by all means phenomenon who inspired us sincerely and deeply. This narcissist Christianised egoist of Jewish descent, who can’t really sing nor play, who recorded bunch of bad and non-listenable records, directed few third class films, most of his material he scraped from tradition, or has stolen from elsewhere, who climbed to stage over corpses of his inclined acquaintances and friends, used and wrung everybody who approached him, and if his songs wouldn’t perform Hendrix, Donovan, The Birds, Peter, Paul & Mary, Sonny & Cher, Joan Baez, Johnny Cash… most probably nobody wouldn’t hear about him nowadays.
But, in spite of all this, Dylan is already for 50 years the biggest and most prominent fixed star on the sky of the contemporary popular culture who didn’t only fatally influence the development of music and poetry in the second half of 20th century, but also art, culture and politics in general. Without him and legions of his fanatic worshipers, which proclaimed him for Messiah and Saviour, would be the last half of the century significantly more non-reflected and contents-wise empty in creative and poetic sense. That’s why, we LAIBACH, are honoured, that we can make a bow to him in this presented project by ourselves. And we don’t bow that often at all.