Thursday, June 8, 2023, 18.00
8– 17 June 2023
→ Knez Mihailova, in front of the Culture centre of Belgrade
Curators: Boštjan Bugarič, Kristina Dešman, Maja Ivanič, Špela Kuhar, Eva Mavsar, Špela Nardoni Kovač, Damjana Zaviršek Hudnik
Curator of the Serbian selection 2023: Jelica Jovanović
After almost 30 years since the break-up of Yugoslavia, we can take a stroll through a part of the shared architectural history with the benefit of distance. The heritage of Yugoslav architecture was taken almost a decade ago by Croatian Architects Association in collaboration with Maribor Art Gallery with the regionally conceived project Unfinished Modernisations – Between Utopia and Pragmatism – Architecture and Urban Planning in the Former Yugoslavia and the Successor States, and last year with the global exhibition in New York City’s MoMA Toward a Concrete Utopia: Architecture in Yugoslavia, 1948–1980.
In mid-march 2019, Gallery DESSA, ab-Architect’s Bulletin magazine and platform Architectuul began the preparations for the exhibition and a publication named Architecture. Sculpture. Remembrance. The Art of Monuments of Yugoslavia 1945–1991. On the basis of high architectural and artistic value of the structures and the exceptional contemplative qualities of the spatial designs, the curators selected 33 monuments and memorial complexes from all the republics and autonomous provinces of ex-Yugoslavia. This was no easy task as the mentioned territory contains many more exceptional memorial creations. The exhibition and its tours, where three to five monuments from the host region are added to the basic selection, were prepared in collaboration with experts: authors, photographers, and institutions from the ex-Yugoslav region and beyond, which has also laid the foundation for future co-operation. With the exhibition, we wish to present and evaluate the exceptional architecture of Yugoslav monuments, whose aesthetic and structural innovation is enhanced by their idiosyncratic artistic expression.
With the exhibition and its tours in all former Yugoslav republics and abroad, we want to show and evaluate the exceptional architecture of Yugoslav monuments. In addition to aesthetic and structural innovation, their unique artistic expression places them in the field of timelessness – the progressive and still-contemporary creative language of their artists and other creators, which transcends the superficiality of the quest for the different, the exotic, the picturesque, and the unknown. We also wish to foster a sober and respectful assessment of the value of ex-Yugoslav monuments and draw attention to their cultural and contemplative significance. We hope that this will contribute to their preservation and maintenance, as on a global scale they represent the unique cultural heritage.