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  • Architecture in the Titoist Manner

    National, Socialist and Modern 1948–1980

    Nikola Dobrovic, 1954-1963

    An astonishing manifestation of European modernism is the architecture associated with Tito’s name prevailing especially in Serbia, the former member state of Yugoslavia accepting the ideology of communism to the full. The official art of Yugoslavia in the latter half of the 20th century amalgamated the neutrality of late modernism reaching beyond politics with an ideology of strong power which was accompanied by the evolution of yugoslavism and titoism. Architecture did not exist for itself anymore, but came to be the materialization of the „progressive-spirited” pro-west policy of the state. Tito’s break with Stalin (1948) brought about a culture policy acting against socialist realism by borrowing elements of contemporary western culture rediscovering pre-war modernism in a unique way with a developing use of materials and variable architectural language. The adjective „modern” only partly fits the so-called ’soc-modern’. The evolution of Tito’s personality cult mediates the model of Stalin even if Yugoslavian art had not been infected so much by the rabble-rousing of socialist realism than the culture of the Soviet Union or other party states evolving after 1945. The Palace of the Federation today referred to as the Serbian Palace (Palata Srbije, New-Belgrade, 1947–59) is a spectacular and paradoxical example of the year 1947 which brought about inspirational architectural tasks not lacking the motif of challenge on the one hand, and on the other hand of the variable necessity-concept of socialist-realism making the architects’ creativity and independent thinking impossible.

    Éva Lovra

    Ulrich, Potocnjak, Neumann and Perak: Palace of Federation, 1947-59