Sunday, June 25, 2006

Pogacnik - out of his box

“If you sit like an empty sack and expect to be entertained, you are lost to music. Music listening is supposed to be sweat, tears and blood. But the musical scene reflects entertainment today – everyone does everything to please the audience, to give them something they are familiar with, something they don’t have to work on. And all this goes back to the passive listening encouraged by recordings.”

Miha Pogacnik, interview with John Harvith and Susan Edwards Harvith, 14 January 1981, in Harvith and Harvith, ed. Edison, Musicians, and the Phonograph

Google violinist Miha Pogacnik and you won’t find a list of Amazon entries, record company sites or any other outlets for the numerous recordings that bolster the career of every other successful musician: he doesn’t even qualify for an entry in Wikipedia. You will however, find over 44 000 other references. Regardless of his abilities and appeal as a virtuoso violinist, Pogacnik has steadfastly refused to have anything to do with the recording industry. Instead, as President of the Institute for Intercultural Relations Through the Arts (IDRIART) he’s carved out a reputation as a cultural iconoclast; somewhere between cultural entrepreneur and itinerant shaman.

IDRIART holds an annual conference in Pogacnik’s native Slovenia, at Castle Borl, which claims to have been the residence of Parsifal’s grandfather. The aim of the conferences, and of Pogacnik’s other activities, is to broaden the awareness of the power and significance of the arts in society.

“In 'indigenous' cultures there was no word for Art...because of her total presence in the wholeness of the societal organism. 'Progress' of the modern world has gradually marginalized Arts to entertainment. Now we have 'working' life and 'leisure' life. But, as crisis of meaning is mounting, we are learning to formulate questions about the true interdisciplinary, 'integrational' role of Art."


Following the aspirations of Josef Beuys who believed art to be "a genuinely human medium for revolutionary change”, Pogacnik targets the business world with the aim of using the arts as a means of developing business leaders’ emotional intelligence and as a creative force for peace and transformation. You can read some of the ideas here, and here, and there are a couple of rare video extracts of Pogacnik playing and speaking here.

And then you can book your experience here!


Blogger M. Keiser said...

certainly not 'olistic, but most definitely honest. It was my rant for the day. What can i say?

Thursday, June 29, 2006 8:31:00 pm  

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