Exhibition Three Pillars
The exhibition Three pillars: Zoran Bojović opened on Tuesday, September 18th, 2012, in the Gallery-legacy of Milica Zorić and Rodoljub Čolaković, organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art in Belgrade. Through the work of architect Zoran Bojović who worked with the Belgrade-based company Energoprojekt on projects in Africa and Asia, curators of the exhibition, Andrej Dolinka, Katarina Krstić and Dubravka Sekulić, examine the influence Yugoslav architecture and construction industry had in the countries of the Non-Alignment Movement, and how this environment affected Yugoslav architects. The exhibition will be open until October 22nd, 2012.
How these projects related to the local population and culture? What is the significance of building water dams, factories and hotels in countries that had recently gained their independence? What is the relation between these buildings and the Non-alignment movement? A passage of time was needed for contextualization of the projects that were designed and realized for what is today referred to as the Global South, and to understand the position of architecture and architects in that process. Most of these question remained unanswered.
One of the construction companies that was particularly active in the development of the Global South – Africa, Asia and the Middle East, was the Belgrade-based Energoprojekt. Among many of Energoprojekt’s architects a special place belongs to Zoran Bojović. Additional to the quality and complexity of the projects he managed, his approach to architecture was of great importance in establishing architecture as a vital and integral part of the work process.
To quote Bojović: “You can not separate architecture from other disciplines. Everything is Architecture. It’s about shaping space. Large engineering projects, especially dams and hydroelectric power plants, effect the change of environment and climate. All this is shaping space, and shaping space is Architecture.” (taken from the interview “All is Architecture”, made for the exhibition).
The goal of the exhibition Three pillars is to position the practice of Zoran Bojović in a larger context of post-colonial development in Africa and the rest of the Global South. The main idea is to showcase the internal and external dynamics of the Non-Alignment Movement, established as a third pillar in the bipolar world of the Cold War era. Further more, the exhibition intends to present the competitive world of the global construction industry, where Energoprojekt played a vital role until the end of the 80-ies, as well as to examine the influence of the global powers on its architectural practice and architects coming from the non-aligned Yugoslavia.
Behind these extensive discourses is the story of Zoran Bojović, the architect who found, in what he calls “my Africa”, the qualities and logic that showed him the way through the design process.
Photo: © Collection of Zoran Bojović