NEVEN KORDA: Outline for Metelkova, wallpaper

Tuesday 28 October 2014, at 6 p.m.
Museum of Contemporary Art Metelkova, Ljubljana

Author Neven Korda. Graphic design Lijana Veličković.

In everyday use, when people say Metelkova they mean the space bordered by Masarykova Street, Maistrova Street, the museum plaza, and the Celica hostel. It's a place that the media and the public at large see and want to see as the source of an organized supply of entertainment. This is in keeping with the general reduction of the horizon of mass culture to a culture of entertainment consumption. When mass culture enters "museums" it does so as entertainment. Among the adverse consequences of such "reduction" of the purpose of work to the format of promotion is the transfer of financial resources from the sphere of artistic production to the sphere of cultural product distribution. Among other things, this process has effected a change in the nature of Metelkova clubs: originally meeting points between an authentic crowd of artists and their audiences they are now turning into places of and offering specialty products. The new public and the new Metelkova mindset combine to obscure the facts of the past processes in the story of Metelkova.

The Outline for Metelkova wallpaper came about as a result of thinking about the story of autonomy at Metelkova. That is, one story among many others. Which moments in time constitute the elements of the autonomy story? How can these elements, minus the sediment of other stories, be arranged in a general linear sequence of events into a comprehensive, inherently consistent story? Or in other words, which sequence of events contains recognizable elements of the autonomy story, the authentic culture? And which components of this autonomy story have been appropriated by other stories?

One of the parallel stories is undoubtedly the story of the NGO sector. The NGO sector story and the autonomy story intertwine in terms of time, space, media, ideology ...
In such contemplations the year 1985 proves instrumental as the point marking the process of authentic culture becoming differentiated as elite culture on the one hand and as entertainment culture on the other.

An objective beyond the material reality of the Outline for Metelkova wallpaper is historicization as such: the importance of preserving the story in time, which does not necessarily entail the victory of the story?s principles. This extra-material objective was conceived in the hope that an analysis based on true data arranged in a linear sequence might help stop the uncontrolled privatization of the Autonomous Cultural Center Metelkova City. And, should privatization prove impossible to stop, it is certainly possible to preserve the story.

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