Parliament building in Sofia, Bulgaria, and its counterpart in Belgrade,
Yugoslavia were designed by the same architect - Konstantin Jovanovic.
There has been a polemic among historians about his national identity.
The Bulgarian historians claim that he was a Bulgarian. The Serbian historians
claim that he was a Serb. In their opinion, it is more important to define
the architect by his national identity rather than by the architectural
style of the Parliament building, itself a construct of nationalist discourse.
The Project "Unification becomes Strength" is the intermingling
of the two facades merged into one. The project questions the meaning
of a Parliament building as a symbol of nationalism, as well as the architects
right to have an identity of his own other than nationalist.
This three-dimensional video simulation done in collaboration with Biljana
Klaric shows dramatic changes, primarily in usage, that have happened
to the architecture complex of The Old Fairs in Belgrade since it was
built in 1937. Klaric and Teofilovic provide a picture of Belgrade's historically
important events by employing documentary material to analyse the location
chronologically through the prism of time and space. Documentary video
consists of four periods. The first one (1937-1941) represents the years
during which this was a great international fair, where, for instance,
the first TV program from Philip`s pavilion was shown in 1939. During
the second period (1941-1945) the place was transformed into a Nazi camp.
The third period
(1945-1952) denotes the time of postwar enthusiasm. During these years,
work brigades and The Agency for the Construction of New Belgrade - the
"capitol" of the new communist regime, formed their offices
here. The fourth period began in 1952 by giving the premises of Old Fairs
to The Association of Plastic Art Artists of Serbia to be used as artistic
studios. After this period there has been a persistent need for reconstruction
of this space. The demands for the space, not only
physically but also spiritually, can be analyzed through urban-architectonic
projects done for the location (such as the international architectural
competition for the National Opera House in
the '70s). Metamorphosis is still in process; this complex, although situated
in one of the most attractive locations in the city, is still disordered
and without identity.
Natasa Teofilovic is an architect and a visual artist from Pancevo, a
city in Vojvodina largely gravitating towards Belgrade. She works in different
media, from graphic representations of spatial settings to experimental
video works and interactive performances. In each media, her work is context
aware and also reflects the very spatial, contextual and political nature
of the issue that she is dealing with.