Yugoslavian Architecture 1948-1980

… with the subtitle ”Toward a Concrete Utopia” is an exhibition that runs at Moma (Museum of Modern Art) until January 13. For one who has been visiting Belgrade, Zagreb, Sarajevo, Novi Sad, Pristina, Skopje, Ljubljana… it was a fine chance to get acquainted with the history of the „large-scale urbanization, technology in everyday life, consumerism, monuments and memorialization, and the global reach of Yugoslav architecture. The exhibition includes more than 400 drawings, models, photographs, and film reels from an array of municipal archives, family-held collections, and museums across the region, and features work by important architects including Bogdan Bogdanović, Juraj Neidhardt, Svetlana Kana Radević, Edvard Ravnikar, Vjenceslav Richter, and Milica Šterić…”

The earthquake in Skopje in 1963 and the plans to rebuild the city with star architect Japanese Kenzo Tange. The amazingly beautiful library in Pristina. The hotels along the coast down to Dubrovnik. New Belgrade that I have visited so many times in connection with the festival „Magnificent7” that for 13 years – last time in 2017 – took place in the Sava Centre, opened in 1977 by Tito. Concrete, brutalism.

We had heard about the exhibition from Mila Turajlic – and her contribution is remarkable. Just entering the exhibition you meet her three screen video installation „We Build the Country – The Country Builds Us!”, with almost 4 minutes built around archive material, propaganda films, Tito at the opening of new buildings, optimism, and at the end the enthusiastic shouting „Yugoslavia” that is hearable, wherever you are in the exhibition. Later in the exhibition there is a charming 12 tv screen set-up with clips from feature films from the times of Yugoslavian Cinema – remember to see Turajlic’s impressive „Cinema Komunisto”. Turajlic is a master in dealing with archive. At the Sarajevo FF this year there was a masterclass with the director, read http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/4321/

Just before the exit of the exhibition – to my positive surprise – in the section that deals with monuments for victims of the WW2 – there was on the big wall a four minute clip from the documentary masterpiece of Slovak Robert Kirchhoff, „A Hole in the Head“. Three men at a monument, see the photo, talking about the general neglect of the killing of Romas during the war. More about Kirchhoff on http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/3888/

https://www.moma.org/calendar/exhibitions/3931?locale=en

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Tue Steen Müller
Tue Steen Müller

Müller, Tue Steen
Documentary Consultant and Critic, DENMARK

Worked with documentary films for more than 20 years at the Danish Film Board, as press officer, festival representative and film consultant/commissioner. Co-founder of Balticum Film and TV Festival, Filmkontakt Nord, Documentary of the EU and EDN (European Documentary Network).
Awards: 2004 the Danish Roos Prize for his contribution to the Danish and European documentary culture. 2006 an award for promoting Portuguese documentaries. 2014 he received the EDN Award “for an outstanding contribution to the development of the European documentary culture”. 2016 The Cross of the Knight of the Order for Merits to Lithuania. 2019 a Big Stamp at the 15th edition of ZagrebDox. 2021 receipt of the highest state decoration, Order of the Three Stars, Fourth Class, for the significant contribution to the development and promotion of Latvian documentary cinema outside Latvia. In 2022 he received an honorary award at DocsBarcelona’s 25th edition having served as organizer and programmer since the start of the festival.
From 1996 until 2005 he was the first director of EDN (European Documentary Network). From 2006 a freelance consultant and teacher in workshops like Ex Oriente, DocsBarcelona, Archidoc, Documentary Campus, Storydoc, Baltic Sea Forum, Black Sea DocStories, Caucadoc, CinéDOC Tbilisi, Docudays Kiev, Dealing With the Past Sarajevo FF as well as programme consultant for the festivals Magnificent7 in Belgrade, DOCSBarcelona, Verzio Budapest, Message2Man in St. Petersburg and DOKLeipzig. Teaches at the Zelig Documentary School in Bolzano Italy.

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