MG+MSUM

Neven Korda Andrič: Outline for Metelkova City, 2013 and Borghesia, 1983–1989
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Neven Korda Andrič​

1956, island Rab, Yugoslavia, now Croatia; lives in Ljubljana

Outline for Metelkova City, 2013

 

In the autumn of 1991 the Yugoslav National Army moved its forces out of Slovenia. Its military bases were mostly abandoned, and the idea of establishing a cultural center became viable. That year the Network for Metelkova chiefly focused on holding talks with the relevant institutions in order to be formally given the right to use the vacated premises. The decree defining the purpose and granting use of the northern part of the military base to the Network was issued by the City of Ljubljana and the Government of the Republic of Slovenia on 3 April 1992. The Network then sent all the relevant agencies a request for a permanent permit for inspection of the premises, which was granted on 29 May. It appeared that the northern part of the military barracks was to be transferred to the Network by ordinary, legal means.

 

The Network did not want to surrender the indoor space to another devastating winter and requested the city authorities to enable members to move in in the autumn of 1993. At a press conference held on 2 September 1993, it demanded answers from the city authorities. The “answer” came one week later, on 9 September, when barbaric demolition works began on some buildings in the northern part of the military base. One day later, on 10 September, a group of about 200 self-organized people occupied the northern part of the military barracks at night to prevent any further demolition.

 

 

Borghesia, 1983–1989

 

The exhibited texts were written by Goran Davide (1959–1988) to help FV in planning future projects and estimating the technology they would require. The texts thus envision both future work and describe the circumstances of Borghesia’s production. This line of thinking, which conceived of technology as a means of expression of new art and also of new sociality, both practiced by Theater FV 112/15 and especially later by FV Video, was at the core of what made Borghesia so essentially novel and innovative. The work of FV Video can roughly be described as combining industrial products and knowledge with products of their own making and their own knowledge. Video was a technology at the confluence of all other technologies, existing as a kind of workflow. FV Video, along with Borghesia, with which it was inextricably intertwined, practiced video in all four of its manifestations, as Saša Šavel[1] notes after Popper: (1) the use of cameras, monitors and VCRs to create video environments and video installations; (2) guerrilla video; (3) theatrical video performance; and (4) combining video technology with advanced technologies.

 

  1. The text “FV računalništvo – ponavljanje ciklov” [FV Computing – Repetition of Cycles], written in the fall of 1985, gives a summary of a several-year long mode of work (workflow) and a plan for the future.
  2. “MIDI glasbeni sistem” [MIDI Musical System], probably written in the fall of 1986, gives detailed information about the MIDI protocol first used by Borghesia to create music as early as 1985 for the performance Ogolelo mesto / Rugged City. It also presents a blueprint for programmed live playing of instruments, as used by Borghesia with certain adjustments between 1987 and 1989.
  3. “VIDI ali MIDI video” [VIDI, or, MIDI Video] from January 1988 expands on the model of programmed mechanical performance and presents a blueprint for using the MIDI protocol for operating spotlights and other devices. (The DMX protocol for this purpose was developed in 1986, only passing into standard use in the industry after 1990.)

 

The facsimiles of Goran’s texts shown here present a more complex picture of Borghesia as a group involved in artistic explorations. They need to be read in light of the concepts for Borghesia’s performances which speak of concrete (visual) poetry in the multimedia era, and focus on the relations between media presentation and physical presence, video installation, mass cultural production or the loss of story and catharsis (post-dramatic theater), and the realization of the ideas of Futurism and Russolo via electronic means.

 

Another fact affirms the importance of these written visions: when live programmed playing of instruments was replaced by playback (in the spring of 1989, a few months after Goran’s death and a few months before the dissolution of the multimedia Borghesia), Borghesia’s fluid experimental form disintegrated in a very short time. “[Theater FV 112/15 represents] a unique form of operating, which opened up, in a limited space and time, new forms of collaboration in terms of appropriating space, managing to ‘inhabit the gap’ as the idea of ‘multimedia’ was on the rise, to capture the utopian moment, fill it with a unique mode of production, organization, and realization, which in Borghesia’s case had to become a product … appearing henceforth as a brand: one voice, one text, one name…”[2]

And to finish with Andreja’s thoughts on historicizing Borghesia: “Borghesia is described as an upgrade of all the Theater FV activities, although more precision would be in order here: it is an ‘upgrade’ in terms of visibility in the media and domestic (as well as international) distribution, but not in terms of artistic production and exploration of new genre approaches. … Over time, Theater FV 112/15 ended as the vaguely described, or retroactively historicized, initial activity of Borghesia, rather than becoming an experimental theater with its own, autonomous ideas and artistic practices.”[3]

 

 

 

INSCRIPTIONS ON THE WALL:

 

Those who live and work within a subculture and want to liberate themselves from the norms set by it have to overcome a double distance. They become outcasts of both mainstream culture and its alternative. Outcasts of two worlds, not all that different in terms of prejudice.

 

BORGHESIA (1983–89) were Aldo, Dario, Goran, Neven, Zemira.

 

 

 

 


[1] Saša Šavel, “Video umetnost skupine Borghesia”, Razširjeni prostori umetnosti: slovenska umetnost 1985–1995 (Ljubljana: Moderna galerija, 2004), pp. 221–227.

[2] Andreja Kopač, “Gledališki performans Alter Faust”, 2014, manuscript.

[3] Ibid.

online exhibition