Staging Devices

One of the short films in artist Jasmina Cibic’s installation For Our Economy and Culture stages an imaginary conversation between an actor playing Vinko Glanz, the architect of the National Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia, and an actress playing Linda, a young journalist who is conducting an interview about his architectural practice. The setting is the Villa Bled, a building Glanz was commissioned to design as summer residence for Tito and the government of the new republic between December 1946 and July 1947. In Bled, Glanz had inherited a complex project – a site that, in addition to many other historical twists and turns, contained a two-story villa called Suvobor built from 1883 to 1885 by the Austrian aristocrat Duke Ernest Windischgrätz. The villa was purchased in 1922 by Alexander Karađorđević, king of the then new Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, and the Yugoslav royal family planned the construction of a new villa next to Suvobor that would be designed by Jože Plečnik. However, by the time of Karađorđević’s death in 1934, only the 30-metre pillars above the lake had been constructed and Plečnik’s project was left unfinished. The old villa was demolished between 1934 and 1936 and the construction of the new villa taken up by the Germans during the Second World War. By the end of the war, the building was roughly completed and was taken over in this condition, without finished interiors, by the new socialist government and finally passed on to the architect Vinko Glanz. After Glanz’s successful completion of the project in 1947, the building served as Tito’s summer residence for many years, a place where he hosted numerous official state visits. Villa Bled also served to position Glanz favourably with respect to Tito, resulting in his appointment to the position of chief architect of official buildings in former Yugoslavia.[1]…

[1] Much of this historical information is taken from the following article: Damjan Prelovsek, “Vila Bled”, Piranesi, vol. 5, nos. 7–8 (1998): pp. 8–25.

Jane Rendell, ‘Staging Devices’, catalogue essay for Jasmina Cibic, For our Economy and Culture, Slovenian Pavilion at the 55th International Art Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia. (2013). (Slovenian/English)

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