Prerokbe Ognja

Synopsis: A visceral documentary focusing on the Slovenian collective art movement known as NSK ('Neue Slowenische Kunst') and its varied branches: 'Laibach', 'Irwin', and 'Red Pilot'.
Director(s): Michael Benson
  1 win.
90 min

To make a fire, we need

a flammable substance,

air, that is, oxygen,

and a source of heat.

Making a fire goes like this.

Heat the flammable substance until the

temperature reaches the level where a certain

chemical reaction takes place.

The mixing of these gasses with oxygen

results in the burning of that substance.

Death, lust is dead,

death is dead, sorrow, dead,

God is dead...

In the dark times,

will there also be singing?

Yes, there will be singing.

About the dark times.

- Bertolt Brecht

Towards the end of the period of totalitarian

control of East and Central Europe,

an art movement appeared in a

country then still called Yugoslavia.

It was named "NSK".

Using the materials of music,

theater, and the visual arts,

the NSK collective took on the role of catalyst,

revisiting the repressed

traumas of European history

and exposing hidden mechanisms

of ideological domination.

Tribes of Europe!

Democracy has destroyed order.

The ground is ready.

Now we can say:

no history has been decided,

no nation has ever won thanks to justice.

It won thanks to pure physical strength.

All civilizations are based on it,

all the powers of law will dance

to the sound of arms.

Historiographers are gradually coming to

the realization that history itself

is in fact a series of consensual myths.

It's not necessarily a nation's past

that shapes its mythology,

but its mythology which shapes its past.

Taken apart, analyzed and then re-assembled,

history's fragments reveal a cyclical structure.

Within this recurring pattern,

the history of an entire people

is actually no more than a collective

projection - an illusion shared by millions.


I am sorry for the inconvenience.

As you may have noticed, there

is a gap, an error in this video.

Fortunately I have a transcript of

what is said during this missing period.

If you want it, click on this picture,

that will take you to that video.

But what was the real motivation

behind Laibach's early performances?

Was this a politicized art,

or aestheticised politics?

Or were they simply a warning that if you

repress history, it will eventually boil over?

According to homeopathic theory, you can

only cure through the symptoms of an illness.

The immune system must be provoked.

How better, then, to trigger the defense

mechanisms of the state than to

hold a mirror up to that state?

You step forward as

provocateurs, as, one could say,

the number one enemy of the state.

Do you have many followers?

Art is a noble calling

which requires fanaticism.

Laibach is an organism whose aims, life and

means of activity of the group are higher

in strength and duration

than the aims, life and means of the

individuals which compose it.

Aren't you afraid that someone might

one day spank you because of all this?

Art is a noble calling

which as such requires fanaticism.

The new art is a new era.

It is a movement independent

of other ideologies.

- Kazimir Malevich.

By 1984, Laibach and several other

Slovenian groups took one step further

in the fanaticism required of art.

They linked together in a

larger collective body.

NSK, or Neue Slowenische Kunst,

would encompass music,

theater, design, architecture,

and the visual arts.

They said they were presenting

art "in the image of the state."

But, like Laibach, they didn't seem

to have any specific political agenda.

Manifestos issued by the new art movement

said that their intention was to

"revive the trauma of early 20th

century avant-garde movements

by identifying with them in the stage

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Michael Benson

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Prerokbe Ognja" STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 6 Dec. 2023. <>.

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