• Architecture's Expanded Field: Bogdan Bogdanović and an Alternative Genealogy of Postmodernism
    Vladimir Kulić

Bogdan Bogdanović, Memorial to the Revolution, 1971, Leskovac, Serbia. Photo: Vladimir Kulic.

The project analyzes the built and literary oeuvre of the Serbian-Yugoslav architect Bogdan Bogdanović. His war memorials built around the former Yugoslavia reconfigured the field of architecture along lines similar to those Rosalind Krauss later theorized in her essay, "Sculpture in the Expanded Field." Oscillating between architecture, land-art, inhabitable sculptures, and quasi-urban agglomerations, Bogdanović’s memorials could be deemed postmodernist, according to both Krauss's argument and  their allusive polysemic forms, embrace of ornament, and unorthodox building techniques. In his writings, Bogdanović persistently critiqued modernist rationalism; to designate him a postmodernist requires us to acknowledge an unusual strain of postmodernism, one rooted in Surrealism, anthropology, and various strains of esotericism, and developed to commemorate a specifically Yugoslav conflation of the victims of the Nazi occupation and the heroes of a socialist revolution. This project explores the theoretical, discursive, and aesthetic roots of Bogdan Bogdanović’s oeuvre and situates them in the broader intellectual currents of the postwar period.

Vladimir Kulić is associate professor of architectural history and theory at Florida Atlantic University. His work focuses on architecture in East-Central Europe during the socialist and post-socialist period. His books include Modernism In-Between: The Mediatory Architectures of Socialist Yugoslavia (coauthored with Maroje Mrduljas, with photos by Wolfgang Thaler, 2012); Unfinished Modernizations: Between Utopia and Pragmatism (coedited with Maroje Mrduljas, 2012), and Sanctioning Modernism: Architecture and the Making of Postwar Identities (coedited with Monica Penick and Timothy Parker, 2014). His articles have been published in the Journal of Architecture, Centropa, the Journal of Contemporary History, and Architecture Beyond Europe. He is a previous winner of the Bruno Zevi Award for best critical/historical essay in architecture; the Trustees' Merit Citation (through the Carter Manny Award program) from the Graham Foundation; and the ACLS/NEH International and Area Studies Fellowship.