|forth year: 2001/2002||series of lectures: lectures / conversations with lecturers / lecturers|
We will start with a tragic and at the same time comical short story, which places us straight away into the very heart of the problem we are going to discuss today. Last week a student reported that she sat down in the Art Cafe on Nazorjeva (in the very centre of Ljubljana), spread her papers across the table and was getting prepared to study her literature, making notes for her exam, she ordered her tea and ten minutes later she was thrown out of the place with the explanation that this place is not intended for spreading papers across the table, but for drinking tea, coffee and chatting.
Of course it is not hard to ascertain that the idea that we are obtaining from this short, pretty scary as well as quite comical anecdote, talks about our town, about the local problems. However, at the same time it represents also a global, even globalistic problem. Before we start towards a narrower thematisation of the environment, market, subcultures, dominant cultures, Metelkova mesto (Metelkova City), Ljubljana suburbs, etc., before we start arranging instructions, for which we truly hope that they will help us all with this complicated matter, it has to be mentioned that at the term subculture - the guiding star in tonight's discussion - we are not dealing with something per se; this is not about the revitalisation of the meaning as given to the subculture by the classical academic sociology, and from the other side we are also not dealing with a current trendy opinion in which the past and present subcultures or their remains behave strictly within some sort of new directives, as presumably demanded by the new era, in order for everything to go ahead in accordance with the zeitgeist, therefore we are dealing in this constraint a bit differently, in a renewed or even frozen manner, in regards as to how it used to be.
From these three presumptions, which should not be completely in vain, it should be clear that a fairly tough undertaking is awaiting ahead of us at which we can merely point out certain things and in the future discussion we can together - if nothing else - at least successfully avoid the games which lately seem to be present to a great extent, mostly with the formation of the doubt if we are truly dealing with revitalisation: What took place in the 1960's, 70's and 80's on the scene which was similar, which was different, what are the distinctions, what are the successions. Even more, tonight is about us turning towards a chosen neuralgic point and trying to find or see the current pugnacity within it, see how the environment, which by endangering the general specifics, the sense for difference, is triggering a true bulldozer discourse, behaves.
We are going to talk about Metelkova, about those special characteristics of Metelkova, which alongside the issue of the subculture put under question the entire point of discussing culture, the artistic practises from the above mentioned reasons. Because of them the lecture itself is improvised, most probably also in order to avoid giving a sharp and clear picture with a predefined pattern, by which we learn about the dominant culture, dependent merely on the (cultural) political factors on one side, and on the other side dependent on the undertakings which are defined by the wild growth of rises and falls, old habits from the supposed former times and which, apart from the (cultural) political pressure is dependent also on the conditions which in its micro-climate exist already from the very beginnings 12 years ago and the well known occupation or liberation of the premises seven and a half years ago. The newest escalation on Metelkova has been going on already for over a year, and we can not delude ourselves that this is not a dangerous period, dangerous especially because the place is becoming 'popular', it reaches also into the field of curiosity and popular culture - an important reason for this lecture.
We have enumerated three periods, however, at the time being they will not be of great interest to us. We are going to turn our attention to the pure space problem, onto the so-called pure urban sociology and pass on some realistic visions and strategies, how Metelkova mesto represents itself and what can it offer to the outside world. As far as space and organisation go it can offer very different things and this is not hard to see even through the most negative media image, through the cultural battle that is being fought there, last but not least also through the cultural racism which originates from the established practises, when these focus on Metelkova. Mainly we are dealing with a small neighbourhood, a local practice and the ignorance which emerges from the spheres which are organised in a more institutionalised manner, then those found on Metelkova.
At this moment what does the internal organisational structure look like, or what is the image of Metelkova like from within, let's say without a distance? We are dealing with a certain specificum, which roughly speaking is divided into two culturally unequal halves - as we would say in school - on the North and South, and even within these two spheres we are dealing with such drastic whirling of plans and contra-plans, public administration fillers, that we can easily talk about a double cultural incoherence. Both parts are caught in a joint external, urban paradox (are the victims of the 'official' and 'unofficial' temporary solution) and at the same time the specifics of either one of them can trigger numerous neuralgic mechanisms, so we can doubt whether they can be saved merely by a better internal organisation. As much as the anarchy of the Northern, sub-cultural part is symptomatic, the fast ownership purchase of the Northern part was performed to eagerly, for it was performed according to an eager administrative sense. Or, to be more precise: All authority reproaches as regards the sub-culture occupying a territory (North) which is too big for it are nullified once we notice that the state is occupying a territory (South) which it can not fill with anybody or anything. Somewhere between the sub-culture and the state lies the city administration, which demands better internal organisation from the sub-cultural part, however, luckily it can not realise its ideas to the capital end, because state land ownership is a poor example for the city. This is where the appealing upon the angry neighbourhood, on the loud events as the only grasping point of the 'order' originates from.
Our old thesis from years ago
is - and today we should repeat it with the desire to create a response
- that the so-called alternative or rather sub-cultural space of Metelkova
North with its shattered and internally diversified organisation without
a central hierarchical offer is the best possible solution at this moment,
for it represents a challenge for a special realistic utopia.
The further thesis is that a number of those areas that are occupied by the dominant culture of the state and city are creating numerous structural problems for the neighbours, independent culture as well as the sub-culture. It is in the presence of the non-use, the number of premises which were initiated for cultural activities in the renown spheres by various decrees, signatures, various intentions and hints, yet do not seem to be brought to life, that we can deduct that the public administration does not need these premises at all - it needs them only on a temporary basis as a shell, as a form of protection from the independent culture and subculture. The state and the city do not even known how to run these premises, because they are on a specific location, which demands different ways of running. Of course the second possibility is that the state and the city have changed their mind at a certain point and that these 'obtained, but unused' premises do not interest them at all, because they already have enough premises at other locations. Closed within its bureaucratic schemes they have, regardless of their vast plans for new academies, halls, gallery, library, Office for natural and cultural heritage, etc., changed their mind and property - except as a barricade from the independent culture and subculture - is of no interest to them at this location any more.
In such a manner of pseudo privatisation in the close neighbourhood the sub-cultural position - this is of course in essence no different to the general system of privatisation in the transition period - is of course automatically double sided, it is a constant double game, for many of its occupied-liberated spaces were on one hand enriched with a large quantity of voluntary hours, and sporadically they also receive donations for their operations. At one point for the programme, at another for materials, however, never balanced, planned. The ignorance of the town and state administration is from one aspect exaggerated, offensive (i.e. when they pride themselves with the rare renovated buildings and charge rent for them), while from the other aspect a contemptible plan can be noticed in this ignorance, for the renovated building minimum is by inertia duplicated with the city/state desire: Here are your offices. What is renovated are premises appropriate for office activities, for administration. These are not artist studios, clubs, halls, libraries, diners, warehouses and similar. These are explicitly premises, which regardless of the eventual content differences meet the city/state notion as regards how to formally - 'when the subculture grows up'- deal with culture. For socialisation itself, for the process of the sub-cultural life this act can be fatal. Metelkova-North oscillates in the relation between rents and self-organisation, capital and self-management, administration and activation. Yet, as if by pure chance not one of the administrative segments has the ambition to administrate the Metelkova subculture - and this constantly proves that subculture is not a thing of development or generation phases. Metelkova is not (merely) a youth centre. In this double image of a fictitious administration and self-organised activism the media is the first to be disoriented, for as such they are not capable of dealing with the issue of the non-occupied premises (The office for the protection of natural and cultural heritage is empty already for five years), nor do they see that the contents, the programme for this is created past the known cultural-administrative levers and outside the curriculum of artistic practices. This is a well know sub-cultural trap; even more dangerous is the pure fact that in the un-occupied building a 'junkie-tramp para-community' started to gather, which together with the problematically centralised location of the nearby dispensary for methadone treatment directly influences the public opinion as regards the contents, programme and therefore pushes an otherwise active subculture into new ignorance.
We can recognise two things - the state / city and media ignorance and internally speaking their successor is 'the split in the scene'. It is too marginal for the sociological science to capture it with its spirit, no theory of social work is able to capture it, for we are dealing with a field specific, which differs from 'scene' to 'scene', and on Metelkova it is a bit different then elsewhere. Example: A voluntary worker from the Centre for Help for People in Need appears at the club and reproaches the 'club administration' that it is not at all sub-cultural, because it is avoiding the junkie subculture. Theoretically speaking she can call upon such marginal stunts, however, in practise she can not know what her statement means for 'the administration' of premises. It is not necessary to deduct what does the awkward issue mean for the activist practice, for socialisation. Trapped between such reproaches and media image we can quickly recognise the Metelkova reality. It is only when we freeze such an image for a moment and put it into the light, amongst the broader public that we can see its statesmanship extensiveness: 'The subject for help in need' takes over the official opinion as regards what and what sort should the sub-cultural behaviour be like. It should, regardless of the circumstances offer a refuge and not produce its internal logic. Even though this can sound paradoxical, setting boarders is merely a condition for overcoming the set patterns, for a specific subculture which is still in the process of 'cleaning', establishing itself. Everything else is 'from above', an intrusive thought, a 'civil' war. Less known, hardly noticed social problems are the ones most difficult to solve, yet for the subculture of the Metelkova type they are also the most important. These are the problems sociology faces when it comes into the field, and if it is awake, it becomes alive, real sociology. Such problems, such difficulties are specific for environments, which overcome the system with its 'critical mass', the from 'the outside' known social relations and can thus exactly by the presence of the problems perform the activities of the cultural-social-political-artistic type on a daily basis. This is why the subculture is not leaning towards laurels, for it is only in such circumstances that new history is created every day, that every day offers a new feeling of a new beginning and the characteristic thought that a few years of building something special can be destroyed over night.
Searching for reasons for such a state could, in my opinion, be found in the fluctuation itself, however, when we would come too close to the explanation, that this is so merely due to the oscillation in the seven and a half years of life of the liberated Metelkova, I think that we would loose the thread for the explanation of what Metelkova truly is. Regardless of this the oscillation and fluctuation in the activation which is to be 'blamed' for the distorted social picture, is at the same time also the key to the specifics of the autonomous cultural centre Metelkova, or to put it shorter - without these problems Metelkova would not be what it is. And what is it in reality? According to some thesis it is not truly important for the urban life in Ljubljana itself, yet alone in the Slovene territory, because it is somewhat condensed, 'safely' hidden as a special place, so it can not in its self-sufficient vehemence deal with a larger number of problems which are outside its walls, yet alone could it be - in its infatuation with itself and its programmes - capable of facing the broader issues, as they could be followed in Slovenia and the global spheres. This what I have just said is of course a new paradox of a small world, which at the same time demands a critical mass, even more people and repeats the old dichotomy - it lives in a 'objective indecision' between a) poor co-ordination , b) roof organisation and c) the very beginnings of the collectivist, co-operational, etc., society. As we have three exterior schemes (state, city, illegal) on Metelkova, we also have three internal initiatives (chaotic, hierarchical, anarchistic). If anything, then Metelkova is not, can not and should not become an organisational trust, in which the roof organisation would divide people in, for instance, the referee for culture, curators of art, concert organisers and the hard core in which a special group would take care of solving the world and dealing with its problems.
All groups in Metelkova, all general, thematic and oriented clubs, as well as other premises, are, from one side, condemned to operate within themselves, they are pleased when more or less intuitive circulation takes place, when all premises are open, so we can feel the vibration of the population which comes to Metelkova just 'for the sake of it', as 'an ordinary audience' and is not burdened by the specifics of the individual premises within Metelkova. On the other hand it is a sad fact that all premises, whether they are closed or open to the outside world, for various visits, various programmes, are more or less condemned to informers from the outside as regards what is actually happening in the outside world. Even though the political consciousness is becoming stronger and the formation of a sort of 'newest left wing' is taking place (especially through the activities of the Office for Intervention and the Peace Institute), we can notice a certain apolitical apathy on many premises on Metelkova.
Therefore we have Metelkova as a whole, which is non existent and we also have Metelkova as a whole, created from the lively specifics of the premises with very different concepts. At the same time we can also notice a hindering circumstance - relatively poor information of the carriers of the programmes on Metelkova as regards to what is happening in the nearby, neighbouring premises or outside and where do the dangers lie, where does the real danger lie, for it often happens that the sole intrusion of a repressive body or building inspection, for instance does not represent a serious threat and the danger comes only half a year later, maybe even two or five years later. The routine operation of the external apparatus versus the relaxed non-information within - this is a dangerous relation, which can not be improved neither by co-operation nor by negotiation of both parties. The essential steps should therefore be performed at each party individually. The problem lies in the fact that the Metelkova subject is not structured as a party, neither in a political, nor in an economic viewpoint, if we can at all speak of any difference between the political and economic viewpoint.
At this point of the lecture it is therefore necessary to emphasise the process of restructualisation - the subculture, this often buried subject of marginalised history shows that with this and such an operation it is to be defined as a non political party, non parliament continuum - which at the same time is not for sale, and it is also dangerous, dangerous for the cultural code, which keeps itself alive mainly with stylisation. And already since Don Cherry we know that style is 'the death for any creation' or, materialistically speaking, production.
The sole division of Metelkova premises is a fruit of the various movements, which started already twelve years ago, when the 'Cell' unit started operating. Later on, this unit, through the Network for Metelkova and even later on with the liberation and division of the premises created something from which a small minority remained while most of the premises were transformed and experienced drastic changes in the seven years since the liberation. Without dealing with the human factor of these changes - maybe also because they are too important - I am trying to focus merely on the functions of the premises, as we can observe them today. Here are premises, which are with their concept close to the structuration by focusing on merely one activity, i.e. something similar to what was in the 1980's in the West called - if we are talking about a squat, then we listen only to punk and hardcore. However, on the other side we have premises which are trying to construct a conceptualised practice of cultural practises without being restricted with its aesthetic criteria. In avoidance to the always repeating deaths of subculture at the bottom of flyers for tonight's lecture I have also written down a provocation, from which it can be noted that the premises which have their concept constructed so broadly that one could already reproach them as being eclectic (they deal with way too many areas, or maybe they do not even know what they would do), in order to avoid reproaches I have therefore written down a thesis, according to which it is impossible to differ from the ethical, political, legal, economic, etc. Even more I am of the opinion that if anything is a specific sub-cultural activity, regardless of the narrower spatial-programme concept, then this is a broad concept with a focus. Such a concept can not be bureaucratised, such a concept does not make one relax and does not create superfluous hierarchical relations.
At this point we are not interested in the definition of the subculture, but in the standing point from which numerous things appear clear, and it is even more important that from such a position we can suddenly gain a strong enough (cultural)political intuition as to what can happen to one space or another, when to act differently or how to continue and open up the concept to a level when it is in fact not able to be caught, untamable, slippery (with an important price to pay: also not as visible!). If we add to this also the unavoidable - the mistakes which occur with such a vulnerable concept - then we are in a world of constant reductions, reference points, which should be corrected as we go along and moved hence and forth. From such a position we can only see that also a sort of basic mistake is written into this broad, fragile cultural spectre, the solution of which can not and should not be packed into the official cultural policy. Or vice-versa - if anything defines the sub-cultural then it is defined by the capability of solving the basic cultural mistakes - the subculture is capable and knows how to overcome the hierarchic and competitive system. It is also because of this that it is left without sufficient funds even in cases when it offers 'top quality', 'expert' and 'irreproachable' programmes.
When a different view of culture is shown it, in accordance to the definition that 'art', 'aesthetics' should be read, done, performed merely with an equality sign in relation to many other things which are happening with it in the concrete space, offers also another view of the institution, on the entire administrative systematic of the local and state community. That is how, if I admit, it happened to me, that everything that sociology of culture taught us, ran out of school and started living on Metelkova as an unique conformation that the theory held its ground. The sole work at the institution (I have this fortune that I am close to a state public institution) after such a conformation of the theory, when it by itself confirms its tragic humanities to the other uttermost end, seems boring, funny, sterile. A whole bunch of problems, details, relations between people, relations to objects, to small premises, to the surrounding premises and to the premises in the broadest sense, etc., become clear to this extent and the image so colourful that there isn't a point anymore at which a person would institutionally say to himself - this is where I would really like to work. At this moment if I got - I don't know - an offer to become the music organiser in Cankarjev Dom cultural center I would most probably reject the offer in an instance. From the aforementioned 'sub-cultural' viewpoint it is clear to see what the cultural problem is, and at the same time it is also not very well known for what a person is qualified for when he operates, lives and observes through the specifics of his sensitive space. Such work, life, observation now allows me to return to the tragic and comical anecdote from the beginning of the lecture which offers the overcoming of differences. Such a special space is, as emphasised by Bratko Bibič on numerous occasions, of course a space which already solely by its activities, not merely by its philosophical practices in the sense aesthetics = ethics = politics = economy = law = culture, etc., or in the observation and research, so specific that at the end even the activity itself is transformed into something that has to be constantly monitored, it is transformed into something which at some stage also the space in which we are sitting in today knew, yet in its activities it lacked that unfortunate, sometimes so hard to notice detail, which can build a thing over the years and bring it down over night. Apart from the narrower artistic pretensions and programmes the cultural activity must include also let's say the catering industry, culinary, an organised and tidy original interior, it must pay attention to the lighting, sound and similar things, if it wants to come closer to a favourable viewpoint and tend the space for good feelings in the general public benefit. In an institution where one of the segments is missing the visit of a so-called event is boring, it appears to us as that there is no detailed code, with which we would recognise the event as a 'cultural' one. Example: If you, as a person responsible are asked in a club to put the music louder and in the corner a visitor is reading a book I will direct the person with the desire to listen to louder music to the reader-visitor; in the chosen moment she is the subject who decides as regards the volume of music.
Let us bring to an end the long story on the subculture: Its activity, activation seems to be a paradigm, which has to start undermining the culture in that segment which usually merely with a word or a (national) myth encompasses the area which has to be 'worked upon' in the concrete area, the activity of that which was in the times of a different mythisation called 'the broadest social meaning', 'general social meaning'. And it is only with the activity, with the activation that the cultural code returns to live sociology, live anthropology, similar sciences and pure urban co-habitation. It enables us to experience and live out to the full that which is called socialisation in the broadest context; what we call - broadly speaking - good feeling, full life, constant observation; we ascertain, observe and last but not least enjoy how this or that programme - material scheme adjusts to the specific audience and how to grab the specific audience at a certain moment in order for it to engulf the contents that it is (still) not used to - here we are talking about a club, sub-cultural full time job, for a struggle against a mono-cultural residue, mutatis mutandis also with the struggle against the political enforced multi-cultural corrections. A very simple rule: If I do not enjoy it then there is also no enjoyment for the others. Only when it is good to the managers of the premises it is also good for the audience.
The concept of the high culture is old, it is claimed by the state and city policy; they usurp it and thus find certain levers for monitoring and restriction. In this their actions are of course a-cultural and satisfy the so-called audience, which leave the so-called events frustrated and castrated, leaving them in a special lethargic state, which is nicely described by numerous statements of those who support the season ticket, for example symphonic systems: 'After a hard week I go to a concert to sleep; I make myself comfortable in my chair and enjoy the music.'(!?) Such a system also allows lazy (orchestral) corpuses to survive, for the disinterested, not demanding enough audience in the final consequence influences also the offer, the performance. Where not all cultural details are fulfilled, where there is no perseverance, drive, joy, curiosity, there the entire cultural spectre is placed under a question mark, all of its political nature. People like to come to a space where the activities are in accordance to their expectations, where there is no danger, there are no surprises, shocks and specialities, and on the other hand they like to visit spaces which offer the entire spectre of culture and are constantly questioning their 'mission' to create that marginal group, which is, according to Jean-Luc Godard only the definition of the audience in its constant beginning, introductory, expecting state. The problem of the marginal groups and the pioneer spirit of the audience is that it is split in half - immediately it comes to a reproach, that the concept of the programme offer is closing into itself, regardless of the broadness, because it is scarce, unpredictable, open and on the other hand the constant basic number of people, 'the critical mass', company, which as some sort of a hardcore collective supports the activity, is most probably the only condition for the activity to exist in its openness. What culture is capable of doing when wounded due to its lack, when it tries to prevent the marginal activities, show non-understanding for it on every step!
Two dangers - and you will like especially one of them! - are lurking at the moment upon the diversified and an appropriate divergent scheme of Metelkova mesto: one is already the previously mentioned non-occupied premises, which the state took into its hands and it obviously divided them inappropriately or in some other way, and the other is of course the greed for premises, which are under the danger of being demolished. The characteristic of Metelkova at the moment lies in the fact that it is not solving the housing problem for anybody, but it is taking care of fulfilling all other cultural problems. This characteristic proves how the social image in Slovenia is distorted and how the general comprehension of culture is narrow and the narrowest in the segment, where the state permits culture, yet the much to narrow, rough everyday policy (for example the construction-investment lobby) destroys or purchases the so narrowed understanding of culture and is trying to place it into premises that have already ages ago overcome the narrow notions. If we add to this also the ascertained fact that the activities of the Metelkova mesto are much more known and respected abroad then at home, we have a clear proof for our statement.
All of you remember the large artistic event called Manifesta, a great part of which - with the exhibition and the opening party - took place also in Metelkova mesto. In the summer 2000 the sole arrival, the sole presence of people, which belong to a different cultural description, represented a great enrichment for the marginal groups. The media image improved over night, and two incompatible worlds met, if only for a few days. However, a bitter aftertaste remained, or a new proof for the way in which the official culture operates and what it needs emerged: the Museum of Modern Art, which obtained premises in the state part, i.e. South Metelkova, in order to exhibit its view on artisms from Eastern Europe, offered its view only during Manifesta, and then it closed down the exhibition and now the premises function as a sort of storage house. Of course I understand, that an art museum needs also a storage house for its activities, however something else is also evident, i.e. that the central state gallery does not need modern type premises as desperately as it was expected or as we imagined, and mainly the status of the storage house is an insult to others, much more active neighbouring premises in Metelkova mesto. The storage house could be located also in a bunker or anywhere on the outskirts of the city. The story similar to the one where the representatives - exclusively males - of the junkie-tramp para-community took over one of the buildings which was taken over by the Ministry of Culture in 1994 with a decree, however it obviously does not need it that much, for it still remains empty, is therefore repeated once more.
Probably you have noticed that on the state-city level in relation to the University and two ministries a story is also emerging which is endangering Metelkova mesto also from another side, from the Southwest. I have no intention of starting a war, however the situation is pretty alarming and its image should be deciphered - close to us are narrow, ignorant ideas, such which with the greatest difficulty notice the existing Metelkova activities. I do not know to what extent you followed the media during the past few weeks, but the new plans for that, which colleague Bibič calls the 'academic multiplex' - i.e. the construction of all three art academies, and according to some plans 'merely' the construction of the Academy for Theatre, Radio, Film and Television (AGRFT) is a very serious intent to narrow the cultural field in Ljubljana. These and similar plans are of course even more irritable as the years lasting postponed move into the premises or depositing works of art in an inappropriate place, because education, youth and students are connected to it. The proposed plans are full of clichés as regards how in the construction of the 'academic multiplex' or one academy it would be possible to represent some sort of a golden link between the studying and already existing alternative youth - for the latter even a sort of youth cultural centre would be organised, i.e. an institution, which was overcome by Ljubljana already ages ago, it does not need it and it is - in respect to everything achieved - much too narrow; such a centre would, of course, be let to the highest bidders, the local productions which have been creating their world with all their ups and downs for the past eight years would not be taken into account. The danger which emerges from such thoughts is another one: violent co-habitation, instead of creating differences, even though it is the differences that create the conditions for any urban process.
As some of you have noticed, in her plans, the dean of AGRFT, for which she states that she does not know whether she will see them realised or not, is talking about a new youth production centre - as if a production centre in Metelkova mesto does not already exist. However, it is different, the AGRFT school practice can not see it or recognise it for its own because, for example, already in the theatre field it is turned towards the experiment, improvisation, pyrotechnics, etc., to procedures which are not worthwhile for the official educational curriculum. I would rather not even get into the problem connected with the Academy of Music at Metelkova, because the division between the classical and non-classical practises in music is even more visible as in other fields of narrower culture or art; the division which exists in this field would demand a number of modules for itself, lectures most probably for an entire life span, the search for reasons, how could such a drastic division appear in music, such a division not known to any other so-called artistic practice. Students of music in Ljubljana feel that they are to important to play in the streets and thus practice and bring joy also to others.
This does not have to be explained in length. Let's stay at the basic hypothesis, that it is high time for the sole cultural practice with the social feeling - and the social feeling is more cultural, in culture more basic than any even so 'artistically discovered' pretension - to start renouncing the category of 'youth' as the only saving category of subculture. We can not truly imagine what this 'youth' category represents, for club life, the everyday Metelkova practice proves that the generation criteria does not hold out and that it is a pretty flexible notion, and especially completely different to the youth centres problem in Slovenia. Even at these we could discuss if the category that draws an equation between youth and subculture is not sociologically out of date, insufficient, i.e.: How is it possible for a branch of science to define, take into account a certain age restriction according to which you stop dealing with the sub-cultural practice and let yourself into something else, somewhere else. You become more cultural or what? Once more we are dealing with a product of the official cultural viewpoint, which is, at least with the definition of the subculture, which we are dealing with tonight somewhat in an opposition. Subculture is not something which exists in one human time unit and then becomes cultivated and the person ceases to be a punk, opens a company and starts attending classical concerts in Cankarjev Dom.
Such division of cultures according to age groups is of course right down the alley for various post-modern theories, their basic indifference which permits a supposed freedom. At this enforced project one should bring to his mind the nice definition of freedom in Slovenia, which was once passed on by Slavoj Žižek, when he stated that it is not surprising that nothing is permitted here, because nothing is also prohibited. In such a way the understanding of freedom and liberties is deformed: The population permits itself many things and because of this it can not permit itself anything. All remains on the level of demolishing containers and student parties. Take a moment and spare a thought to how little freedom there is in Slovenia when creating music or inventing at parties, etc. A wide span of subcultures, as much too often described by the sociology from the Faculty of Social Sciences - the one that does not live (any more) any subcultures, but it studies them from the armchair - ideally stick themselves upon the post-modernist theories: the latter are nothing else than forced and with previously mentioned concepts narrowed cultures of mega-corporation practices and neo-capitalist threats cut off concepts of the bogeyman modernism, when this, not burdened with the weight of the avant-garde, just started to live and found the first moments in which it could start to conquer the broader different spaces. The violently cut off concept of modernism or this at the same time too easy and too harsh, demanding notion of culture produced also the idea of the subculture as a youth delusion and a generation syndrome. A similar example for the out of date thesis can also be found in the broadened notion of the free improvised music - the music practises with explicit out-of-history character were suddenly declared as a concept appropriate for the 70's. This act stripped them with a single stroke - it connected them to a certain era, with the bloom of the western liberties. And this took place even though such bands could be found throughout all eras of musical creation, and even though such musical practises have never made restrictions in a 'geopolitical' sense!
We would not want the case of Železniki to repeat itself on a much larger area in Ljubljana. What am I talking about? I do not know how well you are acquainted with this case, but the desire for the restructuration of subcultures in Železniki (in the Carniola region) is at the same time great as well as so engulfed into a true local war, that it is impossible to see its end. Železniki - and not merely Železniki - are a place where the people at the Roman Catholic church mass hear a sermon about their neighbours and how they are closed somewhere private and practice satanistic activities. Železniki are one of those paradigmatic places where such statements - maybe I would say, luckily - are stated out loud, even though it may be at mass, which is still better than a penetrating silence. And in Železniki, only a few weeks ago, unknown attackers demolished a mountain hut Friday the thirteenth, which was a gathering space for people who think differently. In the future thought as regards to what the wrong notion of freedom can cause, it is also worthwhile stopping at 'student clubs'. As already stated, already the expression 'youth centre' does not have the right sound to it if the majority of activities are taken into account, it seems to be a censored expression and does not engulf as much as has already been achieved there and that takes place there. With the 'student club' not only do we obtain a censored expression, but we also gain a financially disproportionate formation. There are countless student centres in Slovenia, that have funds raising to a couple ten million Tolars (1 Euro is app. 222 Tolars) per annum, which of course, can not be compared to 'youth centres' or with Metelkova. Their activities lead the student population away from the alternative, for mostly they offer anticipated things, which with the mainstream in culture introduce people into mainstream life, life as can be expected after graduation. As regards the division of funds and various other demolished relations between the student population and the ones who think otherwise, regardless of their age, on one hand there is no true reason for joy, however it is also true that at least those of us who are dealing with different activities, with voluntary or underpaid work and cheap events, do not see a great reason for fear, for the fact that removing the fear before the well standing student centres is a cultural act par excellence belongs already in the sole re-definition, the re-structuration of subcultures, so that through such an activity the danger can be seen and the way to overcome this danger is clearly visible. Example: already a dull economic logic tells us that for the operation of the 'space of culture' it is absolutely necessary to have a balanced relation between the programme and non-programme, i.e. material costs. Therefore, as much as the ascertainment as I know it already from the faculty might be frustrating, i.e. that I am more radical than my students, in the same way it is of great pleasure to me as a club person to know that the student population hungry for capitalism does not know that their programme in the 'cultural centre' can start falling to pieces also due to the over investment into equipment, machinery, etc.
A few weeks ago I was at the holy place in Kranj itself, at the week of Slovene theatre, where I drew attention to a special characteristic. I was asked to deliver a speech on the theme 'after the political and poetic drama is it once more time for social drama?'. I grabbed the topic at its roots and - on the boarder of a public scandal and triggering all necessary media ignorance - I talked about the fact that social drama can appear in numerous moments, let say, for example, if because of the construction of an 'academic multiplex' any part of Metelkova would fall. Even more, in this event we have at the same time the event in the town of Gogi and a first class social drama. The school production centres for theatre and other push the hardly noticeable, fragile actors into the road and at the same time they take away the only retreat from a large proportion of the town population. A cultural misunderstanding would materialise itself, they would catch the within cultural racisms at work, and at the same moment the definition of school would become even narrower. Therefore, already - if at the expense of the students who are studying at the AGRFT came to their production space - only one segment of Metelkova is destroyed, only one building is demolished then we will be able to see the entire difference between the culture and subculture through the demolishing - constructing schoolmasters' expedition. Some are able to see, and some are not.
I will repeat once more, for I can see that I am coming to the end of my lecture and I am not entertaining you anymore as much as at the beginning (to the extent that today's theme - even though it is subsuming also entertainment - can be fun at all!): Subculture is the one which sees and feels per definitionem, while we find culture where we have to (in order to see or feel anything at all) introduce additional or artificial paradigmatic complexes. Therefore it is not surprising that culture is equated to - in respect of such and other artificial paradigms - art. The paradigmatic complexes are therefore usually spread across individual fields of art - the artistic practice acts more as an excuse for dry standardisation, for self-confirmation in the state, national, etc. criteria for culture. Only culture can express the sentence that the aesthetic function is sufficient for art. Subculture - and this is the second variation of culture - does not have any need for emphasising the aesthetic criterion, because it realises deep inside itself that creation or - to put it materialistically - production of 'art' is aesthetic as well as ethic, political, economic, legal, etc.
With all necessary doubt it is therefore necessary to declare some sort of a basic discrepancy: How is it possible that a part of the cultural community (most probably under the cover of post-modern farce) is starting to deal with the organisation or production of artistic projects with the bare thought that this can be merely a substitute for political activism? The desperation over the past decades in which it is supposed that a political revolution never took place, can not justify an even so brave attempt to revolutionise artistic practices. Such a decision reminds one of the therapeutic function of art, when this leaves the field of medicine, the clinic. If I let myself, for this finale into the slippery field of differences between the subcultures of the 80's and 90's and the later years, it should be ascertained that, as the years go by, their organisational schemes increasingly believe in the world of artisms and artistic practices rather then the world in which it is possible to change things to the level where they offer the greatest pleasure. This is not true: As much as a virtual space is not a sufficient existential condition for creation, for we must have a physical space also for this, in the same way also art itself is not sufficient for revolutionising the world. I am even convinced that the event taking place in the world - and I am overjoyed to ascertain that also events taking place on Metelkova - during the last few months prove the contrary: The level of revolutionary passion is so strong that it would be a false belief to close oneself exclusively into the theoretical field or into art itself. As artistic practises and their division were delegated from the side of the dominant culture, the exclusive activities represented support of the dark forces, which are trying to bring down the lively unification of ethics, aesthetics, politics, the legal system and economy, the unification with which the subculture in its do-it-yourself practice never seemed to have any true problems.