Neven Korda: Unknown Land

Screening of film/video oeuvre ’80-’10
Screenings and talks
Wednesday, 31 Janauary 2024, 8pm
Slovenian Cinematheque, Miklošičeva cesta 28, Ljubljana


Programme (January-April 2024) 
31 January / 28 February / 12 March / 24 April
Production: SCCA-Ljubljana and Slovenian Cinematheque
Curator: Robert Kuret



Neven Korda is an artist who has contributed significantly to developing video as a new medium. He creatively expressed himself through various periods, experimenting with the expressive possibilities of media that produced video.

A survey of Korda’s works will be organized into four programmatic strands, which follow the development of his creativity, each linked to a specific historical, production, genre, and collaborative context. Except for his last period of filmmaking, Neven Korda has been a part of various collectives where authorship has been declared joint.

The programme Unknown Land I: FV is eclectic, featuring 1980s and early 1990s material. The films presented in this programme tend towards the documentary form, recording the scene of the FV conglomerate and relating to the end of the shared state in the context of the emerging alternative television A-TV. Unknown Land II: Borghesia marks the 1980s when Korda developed the music video form in the context of his work in the multimedia group Borghesia. Unknown Land III: ZANK focuses on the 1990s and Korda’s collaboration with Zemira Alajbegović. This period saw Korda continue to explore the potentials of both video form and soundscapes while creating more narratively focused narratives – a kind of psychedelic (docu) fiction. The programme Unknown Land IV: The New New Film presents works from the post-2000 period. After exiting the studio system and collective production, Korda turned to an experimental video form, which he processed on a personal computer.

Robert Kuret


Unknown Land I: FV

Wednesday, 31 January, 8 pm
Slovenian Cinematheque, Miklošičeva cesta 28, Ljubljana

Photo: Neven Korda, The Old and the New, 1997

 

Summer 1, 2
Author: Neven Korda, Slovenia, 2001, digital format (shot on VHS, V8, mini DV), color, 26′
» video
The story of a cardboard box. June 1988, an archive of footage of the scenes of the revolt in the context of the trial against the Four: the Slovene Writers’ Association, meetings of the Committee for the Protection of Human Rights, Radio Študent, where the radio’s employees barricaded themselves in, Roška, Metelkova, and also Congress Square, which is the film’s central location. FV Video and Brut Film produced the film, digitised and edited at Kapelica Gallery, K6/4 Institute, 2001. The monitoring/recording of these events was FV Video’s last project.
The Old and the New
Directir: Neven Korda, screenplay: Zemira Alajbegović, Slovenia, 1997, digital Beta (shot on VHS, V8, mini DV, U-matic Lband, Beta SP. Edited on D5), color, 66′
» video
The documentary reconstructs the bustling Ljubljana subculture scene of the 1980s, to which the authors belonged. They have combined many documents and video clips from 1982 to 1989 into a one-hour story with multi-layered and fast-paced editing of images and sound, in which emotions and personal views intertwine with the socially critical subculture and the broader historical context – the Yugoslav socialist system. The film alternates between performances by the FV 112/15 Theatre, concerts by punk bands in the underground Disco FV clubs, and multimedia performances by the Borghesia group; images from pornographic films intertwine with images of elderly socialist bigwigs and political rituals. In the 1980s, the first gay club and women’s club were launched at Disco FV, philosophers like Slavoj Žižek debated the relationship between punk and the ruling culture, etc. Subculture stimulated and anticipated the shifts that engulfed the socialist regimes in the 1980s. The Old and the New revive this heroic time, preserving the marginal, marginal side of the great, official history, writing the history of those whom history excludes.

 


Unknown Land II: Borghesia

Wednesday, 28 February, 8 pm
Slovenian Cinematheque, Miklošičeva cesta 28, Ljubljana
 

The Triumpf of Desire, Art director/director: Neven Korda, producer/script: Zemira Alajbegović, 1990

 

The Borghesia group (Zemira Alajbegović, Goran Devide, Aldo Ivančić, Neven Korda, Dario Seraval), which grew out of the activities and production of the FV conglomerate, released the videocassette So Young (Tako mladi) in 1985, which was the first VHS compilation of music videos in the former Yugoslavia. The band’s goal was to create music and establish a multimedia expression in which the video image played a key role. This already characterized Borghesia’s stage performances – a kind of video performance – represented by the use of monitors and projectors: this already hinted at the editing processes and the layering of images that would later be present in their music videos.

Borghesia was one of the first Yugoslav bands to emphasize the video as an integral part of their presence. In 1985, their first LP, Ljubav je hladnija od smrti (Love Is Colder than Death), was released, and that was also the year when they closed the K4 club, which meant the closure of the last FV space. The club’s activity thus shifts to the organization of concerts, and the publishing activity (discographies, videocassettes) also begins to take shape.

So Young (videos Cindy, A.R., and ZMR) were produced in hard-cut video editing, where it was impossible to influence the texture and speed of the image. Therefore, Korda manipulated the image’s speed, colour, and geometry with special procedures before editing.

This process changes with the second videocassette, The Triumph of Desire (Triumf Želje), released by FV in 1990, which Korda was finishing during the then-Borghesia break-up. Here, the video montage itself is a tool of manipulation. The Triumph of Desire is a compilation of video clips, tour documentation, and the performance Futurists (Bodočniki), made between 1987 and 1989, which continues the iconography of So Young. Here, Neven Korda’s aesthetics reaches its peak as he exploits the givens of the video medium. While celluloid records an image of depth, where it is possible to create different planes through the play of light and shadows, the electronic image of video cannot do so. The richness and layering of space are thus created primarily through image layering, which results in the saturation of the image characteristic of Borghesia’s spots.

Robert Kuret will talk with Neven Korda.

 

Cindy
Authors: Borghesia, Marina Gržinić, Slovenia (Yugoslavia), 1984, Beta SP (shot on U-matic Lband), color, 4′
The protagonists of Cindy’s video occupy the apocalyptic space of an abandoned villa. The people in the video are primarily static, existing in a still-life mode.
A.R.
Author: Borghesia, Slovenia (Yugoslavia), 1984, Beta SP (shot on U-matic Lband), color, 5′
The dynamics of the video are created by combining positive and negative shots of different urban and subcultural events. Traditional and alternative cultures are in constant struggle.
ZMR
Author: Borghesia, Slovenia (Jugoslavia), 1984, Beta SP (shot on U-matic Lband), color, 4′
It is an atypical Borghesia video: static, monumental, melancholic. It presents the urban environment with shots of modern and neoclassical architecture. The static female figure is numbed and present in this environment in the manner of a sculpture; the vividness of the skin and the movements are still barely perceptible.
The Triumpf of Desire
Art director/director: Neven Korda, producer/script: Zemira Alajbegović, Slovenia (Jugoslavia), 1990, Beta SP (shot on U-matic Lband), color, 63′
It is a compilation of music videos by Borghesia (Document, G.U.M., Poppers, Triptych Futurists, No Hope No Fear, Discipline, Mud, She, Venceremos). It continues the iconography already hinted at in So Young. With images and symbols, he focuses on alternative movements that have remained on the margins from the Yugoslav cultural past to the present.

 

Unknown Land II: Borghesia

28 February – 6 March
» View at Slovenian Film Database (BSF)

The Unknown Land II: Borghesia programme at the Slovenian Film Festival will – like the first part of the programme – return to the period of the first half of the 1980s and will show both the rich musical production and the ways of documenting it. In addition to Borghesia, some of the other stakeholders of the alternative scene that the FV conglomerate helped to shape will be shown: representatives of Ljubljana punk and hard-core. The compilation So Young (Tako mladi), which was the first VHS compilation of music videos in the former Yugoslavia, will also be available in its entirety, where we can see different methods: archive footage from the FV Disco, the use of images Korda shot from television, as well as more fictionalized music videos.

Iskanje izgubljenega časa (In Search of Lost Time)
Director: Neven Korda, Slovenia (Jugoslavia), 1985, 26′
A compilation of music videos by Ljubljana hardcore bands U.B.R., Tožibabe, Odpadki civilzacije, Epidemija and III. kategorija. The videocassette is a collage of documentary, feature and other footage; each band performs two or three songs. The scenes, filmed in the suburbs of Ljubljana, in basements, and the then Lenin Park, are often crude expressions of hardcore everyday life, of the search, fear, rage, as well as cynicism and self-irony of the actors of this subculture.
Niet
Author: Neven Korda, Radmila Pavlović, Niet, Slovenia (Jugoslavia), 1984, 20′
Music videos of punk band Niet, filmed at the New Rock 1984, in the working-class settlements and on the streets of Ljubljana.
Tako mladi (So Young)
Author: Borghesia, Slovenia (Jugoslavia), 1985, 31′
A compilation of music videos by Borghesia (Tako mladi, Divja horda, On, Too much tension, Cindy, A.R., ZMR), which was released as the first videocassette with music videos in the broader region of Yugoslavia by FV in 1985. These are small, almost cinematic stories, dealing mainly with the iconography of the body in urban space. One of the spots uses pioneering computer graphics.

 


Unknown Land III: ZANK

Tuesday, 12 March, 8 pm
Slovenian Cinematheque, Miklošičeva cesta 28, Ljubljana
 

The Sand Collectors
Director: Neven Korda, script: Zemira Alajbegović, Slovenia, 1995, Beta SP, colour, 12′
Autobus
Director: Neven Korda, script: Zemira Alajbegović, Slovenia, 1993, Beta SP, colour, 11′
Intolerance
Director: Neven Korda, script: Zemira Alajbegović, Lela B. Njatin, Slovenia, 1991, Beta SP, colour, 33′

 


Unknown Land IV: New New Film

Wednesday, 24 April, 8 pm
Slovenian Cinematheque, Miklošičeva cesta 28, Ljubljana
 

1 Sec of My Life
Author: Neven Korda, Slovenia, 2001, digital format, colour, 2′
Nomad
Author: Neven Korda, Slovenia, 2001, digital format, colour, 1′
Reincarnation
Author: Neven Korda, Slovenia, 2001, digital format, colour, 1′
I believe. Progressive Mantra.
Author: Neven Korda, Slovenia, 2001, digital format, bw, 1′
An Autumnal Still Life
Author: Neven Korda, Slovenia, 2002, digital format, colour, 4′
Gagarin
Author: Neven Korda, Slovenia, 2003, digital format, colour, 2′
Blind Faith
Author: Neven Korda, Slovenia, 2003, digital format, bw, 4′
Reincarnation On Taxidermist Monitor
Author: Neven Korda, Slovenia, 2005, digital format, colour, 16′
Angelic Wreath On Speed
Author: Neven Korda, Slovenia, 2006, digital format, colour, 5′
Angelic Wreath On Ocean
Author: Neven Korda, Slovenia, 2007, digital format, colour, 7′
Here and Now
Author: Neven Korda, Slovenia, 2007, digital format, colour, 8′
Bushism
Author: Neven Korda, Slovenia, 2016, digital format, colour, 8′

 



Neven Korda (1956) is a sociologist, filmmaker, videographer and multimedia artist with diverse artistic practices in performance and projected arts. His research focuses on video as a creative expression and a medium. He started the video in the early 1980s when  affordable video equipment flooded the market and thus became available to outside institutions such as television. He was the co-founder and director of the theatre group FV 112/15 and co-founder and head of FV Video, FV Video, an independent video production company that has realized several artistic, FV Video Productions has produced several creative, music and documentary video projects. Between 1982 and 1988 President of the Music Section of the ŠKD Forum, head of its clubs and concert programmes. From 1983-1989, he was a member of the Borghesia, where he was responsible for directing performances and video clips and for the visuals in performances and concerts. V 90.
In the 90s, he worked in various video studios and on several television stations He was a video editor, post-production manager, and author of TV images and the director and producer of propaganda films, commercials, and TV shows. In this period, he worked as a director in an authorial pair with Zemira Alajbegović and made short films, TV programmes, and documentaries. At the turn of the millennium, he turned to researching, practising, and recording pure video art. He picked up where he left off in the second half of the 1980s. He returned to making theatrical performances and to original audiovisual forms. The manifesto of this was the conceptual series Novi novi film (New New Film) – holistic representations of the author’s image. At the same time, he continued to create music videos. Since the middle of the first decade of this millennium, the field of of his pure video with visualizations for club nights and especially for concert performances (VJ Barbato Kanak), and with creating video objects, intermedia installations, and performance lectures. He constantly used his old elements video and his artistic archive in new contexts to highlight the importance of the collision of memory and the simultaneous experience of video as a living event. He conceived and led the group manifestation of Parallel Worlds, which operated between 2006 and 2012 at the intersection of of club and gallery visual electronics. Video as a medium is addressed through the work on the video archive of his video practice – in the form of CD-ROM, spatial installations, a website and multimedia lectures – but also as a tutor and workshop facilitator in applied video and video archiving. (Photo: Miha Fras)



Curator: Robert Kuret
Co-production: SCCA-Ljubljana/DIVA Station and Slovenian Cinematheque
Partner: Slovenian Film Database (BSF)
Supported by: City of Ljubljana – Department of Culture
Thanks: Barbara Borčić, Miha Colner, Petja Grafenauer, Nikolai Jeffs, Nerina Kocjančič, Bogdan Lešnik, Majda Širca, Melita Zajc