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Bogdan Bogdanović

Memoria und Utopie in Tito-Jugoslawien

"The urbanologist, urban explorer and urban wanderer, architect, sculptor, ornamentalist and calligrapher, the graphic artist and "doodler," the mythologist, etymologist, storyteller and writer of high degrees, indeed the ex-Jacobin, ex-Trotskyist, perpetual gnostic and deist, the temporary politician, but an enormously political man for life, the surrealist repeat offender, flirtatious lateral thinker and philosopher and, last but not least, the great teacher without doctrine, who also plays his talents as a role. The phenomenon Bogdan Bogdanovic is indivisible and probably inaccessible to an analytical thinking in any form." (Friedrich Achleitner)


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Bogdan Bogdanovic, born in Belgrade in 1922, was not only the leading and most outstanding monument architect of the former multi-ethnic state of Yugoslavia, but also an unconventional urbanologist, essayist, writer, philosopher, and much more. Bogdanovic can also boast a political career: from 1982 to 1986 he was mayor of Belgrade. The quote from Friedrich Achleitner gives an indication of how versatile Bogdanovic’s talents are. Between 1951 and 1981 Bogdan Bogdanovic realized 19 memorials in many parts of the former Yugoslavia as a sign against war and extermination. Bogdanovic opted for a cross-cultural architectural language, free of ideological insignia. For each of these sites, the tireless draftsman developed new forms – always in dialogue with local conditions. None of the 19 memorials resembles another; each is unique in itself. In his self-image as a “master builder,” it was extremely important to him to work out the various memorials in a kind of “work-in-progress” in exchange with the stonemasons. His poetic yet pathos-free approach to sites of destruction culminated above all in the famous Flower of Jasenovac, which stands on the site of a former concentration camp. The partisan necropolis in Mostar/Bosnia-Herzegovina and the memorial cemetery fair for the victims of fascism in Sremska Mitrovica/Serbia are among the most important of these memorials.