Laibach & NSK – Die Inquisitionsmaschine im Kreuzverhör
New and updated French and German translation’s of Alexei Monroe’s book on Laibach and NSK have been published this March. Following 2003’s Slovene language Pluralni monolit (Maska) and 2005’s Interrogation Machine (MIT), new editions are now available from Le Camion Noir in France and Ventil Verlag in Germany.
These new editions contain a new chronology, new illustrations and extensive new material covering developments over the last decade. The cover designs for both editions are by Andreas Plöger, one of the translators of the German edition.
In Interrogation Machine, Alexei Monroe discusses the past and future of the Slovene artistic groups that joined together as Neue Slowenische Kunst, making a huge impact locally and worldwide. Starting with the creation of the group Laibach in 1980, the book analyses the work of all the groups involved in the artistic movement that became a state. The book analyses not only the internal logics and actions of these groups, but also the complex political and cultural context within which they have operated. It illuminates the paradoxes, perplexities, and traumas of NSK’s work at its deepest levels. Its investigation of the relationships between conceptual content, stylistic method, and ideological subtext demonstrates the relevance of NSK in general and Laibach in particular to current debates about culture, power, war, politics, globalization, the marketplace, and life itself. As Slavoj Žižek writes in his foreword, “Today, the lesson of Laibach is more pertinent than ever.” It uses a variety of theoretical and historical approaches, as is appropriate to the shifting and elusive nature of his subject. The use of theory reflects NSK’s own theoretical engagement; it is also a valuable way to read the issues raised by the work. Neither oversimplifying nor uncritically mystifying, Interrogation Machine leaves intact the “gaps, contradictions, and shadows” inherent in his subject, demonstrating that “it should still be possible to appreciate the work as art that moves, confuses, agitates, or fascinates.”