An evening at Foundry unveiling the large scale monumental propaganda series of installations and the unique experimental live performance by the legendary Slovenian collective Laibach by Maria Abramenko.
Exactly one week ago today and a day after a Victory Day I was honoured to witness Andrei Molodkin’s Foundry event, which welcomed the public for the first time in their space. A large scale monumental propaganda series of installations met a unique experimental live performance by the legendary Slovenian collective Laibach to whom I personally owe at least 20 years of personal formation and inspiration. Russian conceptual artist Andrei Molodkin created The Foundry in 2015, a 4.500 metre space in Maubourguet, France. After 7 years it became the headquarters for radical underground, materialising ideas outside of the mainstream narrative. The aim of his project is to involve and support art and artists while respecting their freedom of speech while totally free of censorship.
I arrived at The Foundry at around 6pm when the sky was still grey to observe the installations in natural lighting. Above the entrance door I was welcomed by “Slaughter” with blinking “S”, a large neon installation by South African artist Kendell Geers and this already left me speechless. Walking into the metal and concrete structured foundry’s rooms, the next artwork which froze me was Molodkin’s “Democracy”. A multimedia sculpture installation whose heavy, acrylic transparent letters are positioned on the floor half filled with oil and connected to pumps which produce very creepy noise while pushing the oil inside. This oil charged the large word “Democracy”, above, made from white neon. The room next to “Democracy” housed a new artwork from Laibach themselves. Produced by a/political, it was handmade in Afghanistan under Taliban rule for the occasion. This large scale Guernica size tapestry entitled “Unternehmen Barbarossa” cannot leave its observer indifferent, coming closer, the quality of its details are stunning as much as its subject. One could stand there for hours studying every little fragment. Outdoors Molodkin’s fallen “Government” made of steel is half standing surrounded by massive concrete walls. Scary how a word can turn into a symbol or even an icon and make you think and feel uncomfortable standing in front of it. Several other artists, such as Andres Serrano, Franko B, Erik Bulatov and the Spanish Democracia collective were involved in this extraordinary setting as well.
Then at dusk at the main stage located between 31 three metre letters spelling “Tired Of This Global Sadistic Regime” by Jens Haaning and Santiago Sierra, Laibach had finally emerged from the fog. The collective chose to perform a site specific act while using their very first experimental material (which was originally shut down by the police in 1983 and resulted in their nationwide banning) linking it to their brand new sound. I was honestly surprised when Ivan announced they wouldn’t play the Laibach we are used to, even a little upset, but then I perfectly understood that perhaps that was not the place for “usual” as everything that night was one of a kind.
While diving into a post-industrial sound we could observe Molodkin’s bloody “Putin Filled with Ukrainian Blood” a recent artwork which has very accurately reminded us of the surreal reality we live in, that worked excellently with the blood freezing Laibach’s performance on stage. This evening according to Molodkin is a moment of The Foundry’s post pandemic resurrection as from now and on it is ready to be back in full power. We all are looking forward and excited to see and be involved in its future projects!
This event was in collaboration by the London based a/political organisation who are known for working along and supporting radical artists, musicians from all over the world.
A different perspective of deconstructing regimes of power was proposed in the form of a uniform collection. Inhabited by Laibach on stage, we saw a new conception of clothes. TO THE NEW LIGHT collection by FOUNDRY UNIFORM was created at this space, a former munitions factory.