Vladimir Labat Rovnjev, as multimedia artist who has been present in public for five decades through all forms of creative work – music, sculpture, painting, poetry, applied art, and especially acoustic sculptures unique in the world, on which he play concerts – constantly reminds us through form, sound and word of the spiritual-material responsibility that we have towards ourselves, the tradition, environment and to the planet Earth.
The notion of spiritual-material ecology has been important to you even back in the seventies when you released an unusual music album that deals with the environmental problem. Unfortunately, you sang as a misunderstood prophet about how man today is destroying a beautiful tomorrow, about polluted waters, air and soil. How do you see the world, the awareness and environment today?
We live in a time in which it is more than ever necessary to harmonize ourselves and cleanse this planet of ours, which we pollute and use up relentlessly. We must be aware every day of the natural and historical-cultural values that are stored in the spiritual-material body of the Earth. We must be grateful that this nature has been given to us for safekeeping by God’s will, but also aware of the responsibility to upgrade it with a creative, constructive approach in order to have a better and more purposeful coexistence.
Personal spiritual-creative-creative work, which I claim is the hardest, is only achieved through enormous love, sacrifice and faith in oneself, in life and one’s own tradition. It is even more important that we pass on such experiences and acquired knowledge for the benefit of others. I started to engage in the ecology of space and the ecology of consciousness in 1973, and in 1979 my first original LP was released. It was the first of its kind dealing with this topic and titled “Metamorphosis”. At that time, such a theme for an album was a shock to the public, even more so since this was not thought about. But it is precisely the role of the artist to point out to that topic in the environment that prophetically views the future.
Unfortunately, only today is the renewal of ecological spirituality a priority for all of us, and mental and physical “cleansing” is an imperative of daily functioning. The degree of awareness and responsibility for what we are leaving to the posterity is proportional to the love for those to whom we are leaving the planet Earth.
Fruška gora, a place where you live and create, has long been called Holy Fruška gora?
Fruška gora (Holy Mountain) can rightfully be considered one of the spiritual centers of the world. It is similar to Mt Sinai, Altai, Hilandar… The entire Balkan is intertwined with places of power, both positive and negative. When the energies of the planet are concentrated in one positive place, and someone builds a sacral structure in that place – a church or a monastery, observing all the necessary principles of creation, then we get the initial energy effect and the type of synergy that takes place between natural forces and human creativity. Through my personal experience gained by staying many times in such spaces, and on those occasion actively engaging in playing, singing, writing or art work (I often had concerts on acoustic sculptures in such places), I have developed a completely new approach to the creative act.
Is our own spiritual-material purification more important, or is it the cleansing and tidying up our environment?
One does not go without the other. We are witnessing a continuous increase in the number of enlightened people and people who are ready to change themselves and the world around them. Getting the right and true answers to the questions of our meaningful existence on Earth is an innate human need. Actually, humans just need to be reminded of everything they already know and carry within themselves as the most perfect beings to walk this planet. There is a growing number of those who have realized that we are not defined solely by our own bodies and our emotions. That we are infinite in spiritual-light-sound energy and interconnected with all other beings and things on this planet. By changing and upgrading ourselves, we also change for the better the world around us. How much beauty and goodness would color our present if most of us would deal simultaneously with the issues of ecological spirituality. Imagine only all those intertwined and networked multiplied energies on the same task of creating a cleaner, healthier, and safer future. When we start cleaning our genetic-hereditary potential, we establish a balance between sensory, extrasensory needs and possibilities, which for me is the basis of spiritual-material ecology.