From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Bogdan Bogdanović (Serbian Cyrillic:
Богдан Богдановић; born 20 August 1922 in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, today Serbia) is a Serbian architect, urbanist and essayist.
He taught architecture at the University of Belgrade, where he
also served as dean. He wrote numerous articles about urbanism, especially about
its mythic and symbolic aspects, some of which appeared in
international media (El
País, Svenska Dagbladet, Die Zeit, etc.). He was
also involved in politics, as a partisan in World War II, later as mayor of
Belgrade. When Slobodan Milošević rose to power and
ground in Yugoslavia, Bogdanović became a dissident.
His main works are monuments built in the Socialist Federal
Republic of Yugoslavia. In particular, the monumental concrete
sculpture in Jasenovac gained international
Bogdanović was born into a family of leftist intellectuals. His
father Milan was a literary critic, president of the Union of
Writers and director of the National Theatre.
Beginning in 1940, Bogdan studied architecture at the University of
Belgrade. He participated in World War II ("a bit" in his words)
as a partisan and was seriously wounded in eastern Bosnia.
Despite his injuries, he continued his academic career with his
graduation (1950), as a teaching assistant at the department for
urbanism (from 1953), later docent (1960), extraordinary professor and
president of the Yugoslavian Union of Architects (1964), dean of
the faculty of architecture and corresponding member of the Serbian Academy of
Sciences and Arts (1970), and full professor (1973). In 1981,
he left the Academy, and he was conferred emeritus status in 1987.
From 1982 to 1986, he was mayor of Belgrade. During this time,
he organised an international competition for the complete
rebuilding of New Belgrade. All submissions to this
competition have disappeared.
After his term of office, he was appointed by Milošević as a
member of the Central Committee of the Communist
Party of Yugoslavia. He accepted under the condition that he would
not attend the meetings because he "had more important things to
do". In the
following year, he sent Milošević an anti-nationalist letter of
over 60 pages, containing a Stalino-dictionary satirising
the recipient's nationalist diction, and the famous lamentation
for Serbia on the theme of "Serbia is tired" (of his leaders).
The Central Committee replied, "You can send the letter, in which
you criticise the work of the eighth meeting and which has not
reached us, to the Central Committee if you consider it
letter, in combination with other remarks about Milošević, lead to
attempts of breaking into Bogdanović's apartment, threats of
lynching, and his exclusion from the Central Committee. These
aggressions, however, did not prevent him from renewing his
anti-nationalist statements when the Yugoslav wars started
at the beginning of the 1990s, once more arousing violent attacks
and a campaign by the state media.
In 1993, Bogdanović went to Vienna into exile on the initiative of his
friend Milo Dor.
Our motto was as simple as it was complicated: The beauty and
the meaning of an architectonic sign can only be apprehended and
explained in the all-encompassing sense of a wholeness expanded to
a novel. It appears to me that the wise and noble starting point of
our beautiful and placid erstwhile games, today, on this side of
hate and cruelty, can hardly be imagined.
—Bogdanović in Der verdammte
the "village school"
At the University of Belgrade, Bogdanović held the lecture
course The development of housing schemes (later called
History of town), starting in 1962. As professor and dean,
he tried to reform the teaching of architecture and introduce grassroots democracy at the
university, but the party forced him to abdicate before he could
put his plans into practice.
In 1976, he began to teach in an abandoned village school in
Mali Popović near Belgrade to realise an alternative project,
namely his "village school for the philosophy of architecture".
The course was called Symbolic forms in allusion to Ernst Cassirer.
14 years later, when henchmen of Milošević raided the school in the
aftermath of Bogdanović's letter, much of the collected material –
the documentation of the lessons, drawings, audio- and videotapes,
optical devices – was destroyed.
The architectonic and literary work of Bogdanović is
characterised by an abundance of ornaments. It is influenced by
Romanticism and Victorian architecture.
Bogdanović has opposed the architectural theories of Adolf Loos developed in
the essay Ornament and
Crime, and argued for the "semantic dignity of the
Shrine to the fallen freedom fighters, Vlasotince
In 1952, Bogdan Bogdanović won a competition for the design of a
memorial to the Jewish victims of fascism.
From then on until 1981, he was assigned by Tito to devise more than 20
monuments and memorial places against fascism and militarism.
Resulting directly from his personal experiences in World War II,
they were erected in all republics of Yugoslavia. To work as cenotaphs for all victims of
fascism, regardless of nationality and religion, they lack any
symbols of communism or other ideologies. Instead, they rely on
archaic, mythological forms. All of them are built of stone, shaped
by local untrained chisellers whom Bogdanović preferred to
ones with formal education, who were inflexible in his opinion. The
notable exception, the Jasenovac monument, consists of prestressed concrete, the formwork for which was
constructed by shipwrights.
Somewhat incongruously, it is known as the Flower of
Examples of these monuments are:
- Memorial to the Jewish victims of fascism, Belgrade, 1952
- Memorial grave to the victims of fascism, Sremska
- Group cenotaph to the fallen soldiers of the resistance, Prilep, 1961
- Symbolical necropolis, Slobodište (near Kruševac), 1965
- Partisan monument, Mostar,
- Jasenovac monument, Jasenovac,
- Memorial cemetery, Leskovac, 1971
- Group cenotaph, Bela Crkva, 1971
- Memorial to the fallen soldiers in all wars of liberation, Knjaževac, 1971
- Shrine dedicated to the Serb and Albanian partisans in the
1941–1945 war, Kosovska Mitrovica, 1973
- War grave, Štip,
- Group cenotaph of victims, Travnik, 1975
- Shrine to the fallen freedom fighters, Vlasotince, 1975
- Freedom monument, Berane,
- Dudik memorial park, Vukovar, 1980
- Memorial area with mausoleum for the warriors, Čačak, 1980
- Garavice memorial park with cenotaph to the victims of fascism,
- Mausoleum dedicated to the first who died in the anti-Fascist
uprisings, Popina (near Vrnjačka Banja), 1981
Bogdanović refused to participate in the planning of national
housing estates which looked like "coffins of concrete" to him and
had "only two types of windows".
Consequently, he built only a single settlement: a housing estate
for the hydrotechnical institute "Jaroslav Černi" at the foot of
the mountain Avala near
Belgrade, finished in 1953. The houses with their surrealistic,
old-fashioned style, mostly built of stone, heavily framed windows
and oversized chimneys, are deliberately set apart from the
unimaginative architecture of Tito's Yugoslavia.
Other settlements were planned in great detail, but never really
intended to be built. Among those is a town in northern Montenegro, designed for
and a mythological "town at the bottom of the lake (Biograd)" which
Bogdanović designed for himself.
Other works of
Other works of architecture include the reconstruction of the
villa of Queen Natalija (Smederevo, 1961) and Adonis' altar (Labin, 1974).
Of the essays written by Bogdanović, the following is available
- Town and town mythology.
Housing and planning conference papers. 5. The
Hague: International Federation for Housing and Planning. 1971. LCCN 77-374894.
Books and essays in Serbo-Croatian include:
- Mali urbanizam [Little
urbanism]. Belgrade/Zagreb: Narodna Prosvjeta.
- Urbanističke mitologeme
[Urbanistic mythologemes]. Belgrade: Vuk Karadžić. 1966. LCCN 68-109766.
- Urbs & logos: ogledi iz
simbologije grada [Urbs and logos: essays on the symbolism of town].
Niš: Gradina. 1976. LCCN 77-457636.
- Gradoslovar [Dictionary of town
terminology]. Belgrade: Vuk Karadžić. 1982. LCCN 83-111414.
- Povratak grifona: crtačka
heuristička igra po modelu Luisa Karola [The return of the griffon:
a drawing heuristic game modeled on Lewis Carroll]. Belgrade:
Jugoart. 1983. LCCN 86-86233117.
- Krug na četiri ćoška [The
circle on four angles]. Belgrade: Nolit. 1986. ISBN
- Mrtvouzice: mentalne zamke
staljinizma [Dead ends: mental traps of Stalinism]. Zagreb:
August Cesarec. 1988. ISBN
- Knjiga kapitela [The book of
the capital]. Sarajevo: Svjetlost. 1990. ISBN
- Grad kenotaf [Town
cenotaph]. Zagreb: Durieux. 1993. LCCN 93-227406.
- Glib i krv [Mud and
blood]. Belgrade: Helsinški odbor za ljudska prava u Srbiji.
- Grad i budućnost [Town and the
future]. Zagreb: Nakl. Mlinarec-Plavić. 2001. ISBN
Der verdammte Baumeister. Erinnerungen [The doomed
is a collection of essays, translated into German by Milo
Bogdanović is a founder member of the International Academy
of Architecture which was established in 1987. He is a foreign
member of the Russian Academy of Architecture (since 1994), a
corresponding member of the Bavarian Academy of Fine Arts (since
1998), and a member of the Collegium Europaeum Jenense (University of
Jena; since 2000). In
2002, he was elected an honorary member of the Academy
of Sciences and Arts of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Awards and prizes include:
- October Prize of the City of Belgrade (for the memorial in
Sremska Mitrovica, 1961)
- Menção honrosa ("honorable mention" at the São Paulo Art Biennial,
- Seventh of July Prize (1979)
- Anti-Fascist Council of National Liberation of Yugoslavia Prize
- Piranesi Prize (1989)
- Herder Prize
- Austrian Cross of Honor for Science and Art
(First Class, 2002)
- Gold Medal for Meritorious Service to the Province of Vienna
|Mayors of Belgrade
Čarapić · Bogićević · Žujović ·
Delimirković · Stojković · Smiljanić · G.Jovanović · Terzibašić ·
Nikolić-Čokojić · Ivanović · Čumić · Lukić · Đurić · Popović ·
Stevanović · Karabiberović · Đorđević · Bogićević · Nikolajević
Marinković · Tatić · Pantović · Stamenković · Glavinić · Vulović ·
· Nestorović · Marjanović
· K.Jovanović · Filipović · Kara-Jovanović · Mitrović · Kumanudi
· Nešić · M.Petrović · Ilić · Đurčić · Tomić · Milićević ·
Stojadinović · Jovanović
· Ratković · N.Petrović ·
Jojkić · Minić
· Neoričić · Pešić
Kovačević · B.Bogdanović
Bakočević · Unković · Gruden · Čović
· N.Bogdanović (Alimpić · Belić)