By: Alexander Rant
I am not an art expert myself. I do not know artistic styles, directions, in fact I am a shoemaker from Prešeren’s Apel and Shoemaker, which talks about calves and thighs. Nevertheless, I have managed to see and hear a lot of top art in my life, so that I can judge Slovenian cultural events in not a completely layman way. Above all, my view may be a reflection of simple people looking at most of the culture in a similar way.
I want to dedicate this column to a celebration of a cultural holiday that was slightly different this year from the ones we have watched in years past. It was gentle, deep, sensitive, and artistically perfect. It evoked feelings of pride, love for the homeland, love for culture and art. For the first time we could hear the whole Zdravljica (national anthem), on the national RTV we heard the word God at the national celebration. And for the first time in a long time, the key part of the celebration was the winners and their stories.
Even the winners themselves are the people who give. Who exert themselves. In film, on stage, in architecture, music, poetry, painting, prose. They are seekers of the deeper, the sensual, the higher. Artists in the true sense of the word, artists who make a living from their work, artists who create surpluses. The whole celebration transcended the boundaries of the physical, the earthly, the superficial, the grotesque. It went into the metaphysical, into the soul, and as a proud Slovene it touched me. To tears.
Not only because at that moment I felt a connection to the culture, which went beyond the physical, but also because I was overjoyed that after years of distortion and ridicule, this kind of culture, love, and transcendence are still alive.
Let’s not forget that for years on the Slovenian cultural holiday we had to watch the making fun of Slovenia. From opponents of independence, migrants reciting our beautiful anthem in Arabic, to “artists” wrapping themselves in wires and carrying out extreme left wing activism. And it never went without a rumbling for money. No matter how much money was thrown at this “culture,” they wanted more and more each year. An insatiable riffraff of addicts of state money, whose culture showed itself best in the Rog factory – drugs, garbage, stolen bicycles, left wing propaganda, and free rent.
The state does not need such a culture and is not obliged to finance it. Do you remember when the Prešeren Fund award was given to a woman who photographed herself pregnant with a cut Slovenian flag on her belly? And the one who breastfed the dogs (God help human decadence)? And those two were the peaks of culture for past committees? Something that exceeded the value of an ordinary artist? Do you see what I am talking about? This year’s winners have years of hard work behind them, years of giving up, years of writing, painting, creating. Those two, who were chosen during the “high” left culture, ridicule the country (in which this artist does not feel any harm) and promote zoophilia. The art of the left – decadence, decay, death, abomination.
This year, however, a ray of hope. A ray of normalcy in a sea of degenerate culture. Songs that have elevated our generations through centuries. Poetry that nourished the soul of everyone, and award winners who can be an inspiration to everyone. And, of course, words are already falling from the left wing about how lame the celebration was. That it was old-fashioned and that it did not problematize climate change and hate speech. And why should it be like that? Why should a politically motivated activist culture be the one that means something, when its description already says that it has the artistic value of a dead horse?
People live culture. Every time we turn on the radio. Every time we listen to a concert, when we read books, when we look at pictures. Some listen to Bach, others to Brahms, some to metal. Some like wind orchestras, others symphonic ones. Some like secular music, others sacred music. Some prefer impressionists, others cubists. Some like the architecture of Burj Khalifa more, and others the architecture of Notre-Dame. But we humans live a culture, we enjoy it, we swim in it.
No one, or a very rare minority, lives the culture of individuals, who think about culture, organise performances for themselves, and state celebrations for themselves. Their films are watched only by their friends, their paintings are hung only by acquaintances in galleries, their works are politically motivated, boring, artistically vulgar.
But not everything is like that. This year, as I have already written, art has once again shown its metaphysical state. Its sky-reaching love of wisdom, divine inspiration. At this celebration and with these winners, the culture of vulgarity and degenerate art died. Let me conclude with the words of the poet: God save our land and nation, and all Slovenes where’er they live!
Aleksander Rant is a journalist and editor of the news program at Nova24TV.