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Spomenik Database Video Archive

Educational Lectures

This section of the Video Archive is dedicated to presenting recordings of educational lectures from an array of academic professionals who study and research the architecture and design from the Yugoslav era, most notably the ambitiously shaped abstract WWII (NOB) monuments (or 'spomeniks'). These lectures approach the topic from a multitude of perspectives and relate a great deal of insight and information on the subject. My inclusion of these lectures here does not necessarily amount to my endorsement of their content... I include them simply to provide a wide range of perspectives on this topic. If there are any recorded lectures which you think I should add to this list, please contact me.

'Genealogy of Form: Typology of the Monuments to PLS, Revolution & Labor Movement' by Sanja Horvatinčić [2015]

This 2015 lecture by Croatian academic art historian Sanja Horvatinčić was part of a seminar called "Art for Collective Use: Monument, Performance, Ritual, Body" presented at the Faculty of Arts University of Ljubljana in Slovenia. In this lecture, Horvatinčić examines not only the shape and form that WWII (NOB) monuments took during the Yugoslav era, but she also examines re-newed global interest in these monuments, specifically as they relate to the Jan Kempanaers photo book. This lecture is presented in English.

'Stony Memory – Petrified Memory?' by Heike Karge [2015]

This 2015 lecture by German historian Haike Karge was a presentation included at the seminar titled "Art for Collective Use: Monument, Performance, Ritual, Body" given at the Faculty of Arts University of Ljubljana in Slovenia. In this lecture Karge examines the "public practices of remembering National Liberation War in Yugoslavia. It centers on the 1950s and 1960s, the time when most of the many monuments to the war and its fallen soldiers and victims were built in Yugoslavia", as well as the "diverse forms of social exchange, communication, and negotiation" embodied within the monuments. This lecture is presented in English.

'A City without Resistance? Partisan memorials in Trieste' by Borut Klabjan [2015]

This lecture is given by academic historian Borut Klabjan as part of the symposium titled "Heroes We Love. Ideology, Identity and Socialist Art in New Europe" given at the Maribor Art Gallery in Maribor, Slovenia. In this lecture, Klabjan examines the Yugoslav WWII (NOB) monuments of the Trieste region of modern-day Croatia, investigating their history as well as their current conditions. Klabjan notably explores the phenomenon of these monuments in the Free Territory of Trieste, a compromise zone established in the modern Istrian region post WWII. This lecture is presented in English.

'Monuments in Transition' by Tihana Pupovac [2011]

This 2011 by Tihana Pupovac was presented as part of the symposium titled "Heroes We Love. Ideology, Identity and Socialist Art in New Europe" given at the Maribor Art Gallery in Maribor, Slovenia. In her lecture, Pupovac discusses the decay, degradation and destruction that befell many of the Yugoslav WWII (NOB) monuments across Croatia in the years during and after the 1990s Yugoslav Wars. She examines the various types of destruction these monuments were faced with as well as the various entities which committed the destruction. This lecture is presented in English.

'WWII Memorial Heritage in Post-Socialist Croatia' by Sanja Horvatinčić [2018]

This 2018 lecture by Croatian academic art historian Sanja Horvatinčić was part of a symposium called "Nonuments" presented at the Museum of Transitory Art in Ljubljana, Slovenia. The lecture explores the Croatian WWII (NOB) monuments created during the Yugoslav era and the decline, decay and destruction that many of them faced during and after the turmoil of the Yugoslav Wars. This lecture is presented in English.

'The Artistic Production & Critical Reception of Monuments in Socialist Yugoslavia' by Sanja Horvatinčić [2016]

This 2015 lecture by Croatian academic art historian Sanja Horvatinčić was part of a seminar called "Art for Collective Use: Monument, Performance, Ritual, Body" presented at the Faculty of Arts University of Ljubljana in Slovenia. The lecture is described as "an overview of the typology of the monuments illustrated by characteristic examples from Yugoslavia and indicates the origins, development, and art historical references that conditioned their formal features." It is presented in English.

'Building between Worlds - The Spaces of Yugoslavia’s Socialist Globalization' by Vladimir Kulić [2016]

This 2016 lecture given by Vladimir Kulić at the American Academy in Berlin explores the unique architectural styles of Yugoslavia through the lens of the its unusual openness to much of the 'Western World', as well as to the less developed nations of the non-aligned movement. Through these relationships and Yugoslavia's patented form of self-managing socialism, Kulić examines how this unique architectural expression came to be and how it shaped the country. This lecture is presented in English.

'Toward a Concrete Utopia: Architecture in Yugoslavia' by Vladimir Kulić [2018]

This 2018 lecture given by Florida-based architecture historian Vladimir Kulić was given at the New York City Modern Art Museum as part of the museum's opening of the 'Towards a Concrete Utopia' exhibition in July of 2018. The lecture examines the adventurous and innovative architectural styles and approaches which Yugoslavia experimented with during its brief 45 year existence. In this discussion, not only are the buildings of Yugoslavia explored, but also the design and artistic creation of WWII (NOB) monuments. This lecture is presented in English.

'Monuments’ Biographies – The Case of Jasenovac' by Haike Karge [2015]

This 2015 lecture by German historian Haike Karge was a presentation included at the seminar titled "Art for Collective Use: Monument, Performance, Ritual, Body" given at the Faculty of Arts University of Ljubljana in Slovenia. This lecture explores the history of the concentration camp at Jasenovac, as well as the Flower Monument that commemorates it, created by Bogdan Bogdanović. Under examination are also "the various actors involved in the “birth” of the memory space Jasenovac" as well as the "coming-into-being" its lieu de mémoire. This lecture is presented in English.

'Arhitektonska teorija, nauka ili gnoza?' by Bogdan Bogdanović [1987]

This is a video of a 1987 final lecture of Bogdan Bogdanović given at the Faculty of Architecture at the University of Belgrade, where he was a professor. This recorded is provided courtesy of the Belgrade's Center for Cultural Decontamination (CZKD) [website]. The title of this final lecture by Bogdanović traslates into English as "Architectural Theory - Science or Gnosis", during which he reflects on many of his most significant monument creations and architectural achievements over his lifetime. The lecture was broadcast live by Radio-televizija Beograd (RTB). It is presented here in Serbo-Croatian without any subtitles.

'Bogdan Bogdanović: uvod u celinu' symposium by the CZKD [2015]

This is a video one of the recorded sessions from the 2015 symposium called "Bogdan Bogdanović: Uvod u celinu/Introduction to the Whole" presented by Belgrade's Center for Cultural Decontamination (CZKD) [website]. This whole symposium was a significant collective effort which brought together large amounts of Bogdanović's materials from over the years, as well as many speakers and experts on his work and legacy. In the linked video here, we hear presentations given by Ljubica Slavković, Jelica Jovanović, as well as a group panel question and answer session. For more videos from this symposium, check out this article about the event at the CZKD website.

'Episodes from Socialist Modernism in Yugoslavia' by Nataša Ilić [2017]

This video is a recorded lecture by Nataša Ilić from the conference titled 'Parapolitics: Cultural Freedom and the Cold War', put on by Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin, Germany. In this lecture, Ilić discusses the genesis and historical trajectory of what is often referred to as 'Socialist Modernism', along with the concept of 'Partisan art' as it existed during the era of Yugoslavia. In addition, Ilić explores the idea of abstract art as part of the socialist and cultural experimentation of Yugoslavia, and how this abstraction of form and thought thus became a defining part of the cultural identity of what it was to be Yugoslavian.

'Reactualizing the historical heritage from oblivion to the market... where are we now?' by Ana Dević [2016]

This video is a recorded lecture by Ana Dević from the conference titled 'Abstract Socialism', put on by the group 'Fundació Antoni Tàpies' in Barcelona, Spain in 2016. In her lecture, Dević explores the sculptural heritage of artistic experimentation which occurred in socialist Yugoslavia. Most notably, Dević examines the work of one of Croatia's most forward-thinking sculptors: Vojin Bakić. In addition, Dević investigates the public perceptions and government approaches in current times of this heritage of socialist art, especially in the face of more nationalistically driven governments of these former-Yugoslav states.

'Can the High Modernism of Yugoslav Monuments Be Viewed as a Trojan Horse of Capitalism in Socialism?' by Beti Žerovc [2019]

This video is a recorded lecture at the School of Applied Arts in Vienna by University of Ljubljana art historian Beti Žerovc which works to deconstruct many of the myths that related to the historical understanding of Yugoslav monuments, myths found both from the West and those found within many of the former-Yugoslav states. During this talk (which is in English), Žerovc examines the monument's origins, how they were accepted by Yugoslav culture of the era, what part state ideology played in their creation, as well as modern phenomenon of their renewed popularity and interpretations.