Krst Pod Triglavom / Baptism


2LP-BOX (with poster and booklet)
jewel case CD


Baptism under the Triglav
(Krst Pod Triglavom) is still considered one of the most spectacular and memorable event staged by the Neue Slowenishce Kunst, taking place back in 1986 when Slovenia was still part of the Yugoslavian federation. It was a combined effort by all the various groups of the NSK led by its theatre division the Theatre of Scipion Nasice.

Theatre of Scipion Nasice formed in October 13th 1983, starting out with short drama plays that was performed in private apartments in Ljubljana. The following year they had joined forces with Irwin and Laibach to create the Neue Slowenische Kunst, though with an increased profile their performances were still quite small scale albeit elaborate until Baptism.

February 6th 1986 the Theatre of Scipion Nasice performed the premiere of the lavish spectacle Krst Pod Triglavom (Baptism under the Triglav) at the Cankarjev Dom in Ljubljana; it was also performed later that year in Belgrade. This was their third major production and still is their largest project, an expensive production involving over 250 people, financed and staged at state supported cultural centres. It was seen by around 25,000. The London International Festival of Theatre (LIFT) had hoped to bring the show to London but the Scipion Nasice announced that they were self destructing by 1987 (forming Red Pilot in the process) which ruled it out. Baptism is about the battle between the last Slovenian pagan leader and the German Catholics. Laibach music was used instead of dialogue. Other NSK members supplied the sets, actors and direction. The script was inspired by two versions of 'Baptism by the Savica'; the famous Slovene writer France Preseren originally wrote the first. The Dramatist Dominik Smole (1922-82) later re-interpreted Preseren's original epic poem. The NSK delivered a postmodernist version utilising both versions. While primarily telling the story of the Slovene people being forcibly converted from their pagan beliefs to Christianity by invading Germanic tribes around the ninth century. It was also a celebration of the rich identity of the Slovenian people and it's culture in the shadows of their larger and more powerful neighbours. Significantly it also invited comparison with situation in Slovenia at the time and undoubtedly reawakened a certain amount of national identity. Barely a few years later the republic broke free from the Yugoslavian federation.

They arranged the music, mixing their ideas with the music from a variety of European composers. Musically it's one of Laibach's most interesting projects and quite a dramatic change of style at the time from their previous industrial sound as they took a more classical music approach. They had utilised a rich source of European classical music, which according to Barber-Keršovan "...includes pieces of Wagner, Bruckner, Orff, Shostakovitch, Prokofiev, a well-known waltz from the operetta "The Blood of Vienna", and the introductory motif of "Dante's Symphony" by Franc Franz Liszt through which the partisan song "Pociva jezero v tihoti ("A Lake Resting In Calmness") is projected." In the track "Hostnik," Kraftwerk's "Ohm, Sweet Ohm" can be heard in the background to a poem composed and read by Tomaz Hostnik shortly before he died in 1982. While Laibach certainly indulged in the classical elements their industrial influence is still very noticeable; Apologija Laibach could quite easily have fitted on Nova Akropola or Rekapitulacija. Other tracks may have strong elements of their military industrial sound blended in to the dominant classical orchestration, in doing so they've still managed to retain much of Laibach's distinctive style. The overall result was very impressive and the music from Baptism remains a favourite amongst many Laibach fans and one to seek out for those wanting to explore Laibach's more diverse work.

Irwin took care of the designs for the sets, 62 large-scale sets were created and painted based on various historical and cultural references. Much of it had a Slovene connection but there were many other inspirations from elsewhere such as a reconstruction of the Russian artist and architect Vladimir Tatlin's proposed Monument to the Third International. Fellow Russian artist Wassily Kandinsky's work also strongly influenced. The Malevich cross was prominent in the show along with other elements or inspirations from his paintings. In general there was quite a lot of features in the onstage designs that was recognised from the artworks of both Laibach and Irwin, who were both assimilating specific cultural and historical references into their work. Even the clothes worn by some of the actors were very similar to those worn by Laibach at the time. Irwin also paid tribute to long forgotten Slovene avant-garde artists within Irwin's unique form of retro-garde. The overall effort was spectacular and very striking; a number of photographs managed to capture its effects during the performances. Some of them can be seen in the NSK book but at the moment the best display of images from the production is found in the large colour booklet that came with the double LP release of the music.


01 Jezero/Valjhun/Delak - 11:00
02 Koza - 3:57
03 Jägerspiel - 7:25
04 Bogomila - Verführung - 3:54
05 Wienerblut - 7:00
06 Crtomir - 4:51
07 Jelengar - 2:41
08 Apologija Laibach - 12:24
09 Herzfeld - 4:48
10 Krst/Germania - 12:50
11 Rdeci Pilot - 1:00


1 Hostnik (after original Laibach vocalist Tomaz Hostnik)
2 Jezero (The Lake)
3 Valjhun
4 Delak
5 Koza (Skin)

1 Jägerspiel (Hunters' Game)
2 Bogomila - Verführung (Bogomila-Seduction)
3 Wienerblut (Vienna Blood)

1 Crtomir
2 Jelengar
3 Apologija Laibach (Laibach Apology)

1 Herzfeld (Heartfield)
2 Krst (Baptism)
3 Germania
4 Rdeci Pilot (Red Pilot)