Parallel Slalom

The project 'Parallel Slalom' is a mode of simultaneously writing 'parallel' stories by two authors on a previously set theme, chosen via a specific procedure. During the eight years of working on this joint venture, Ogurlic and Jurkovic have written more than a hundred parallel stories. This project gave birth to two books; 'Parallel Slalom' (ICR, 1989), and 'The Most beautiful Stories - Parallel Slalom 2' (Tiskara Rijeka 1993) and to a homonymous theatre production by Rijeka's ensemble 'Otvorena Scena Belveder'

Ogurlic '88

AN ITERVIEW WITH OUR ARCHITECTURE'S LEGEND

To prepare for this interview, I even dug through the hardly accessible archive of the Architectural University, which deposit construction plans of our most ambitious buildings. It was quite a surprise, when, searching without authorization through the black folders I stumbled over a few of his projects. Every folder was labelled with the inscription 'unfit'.

This almost completed the picture of him. The man who revolutionised our architecture by building family houses and public buildings from roofs down to the foundations was, mildly put, thrown into the lumber-room of history labelled a mad artist without a sense of structure.

His most famous work titled 'Bridge That Does Not Touch the Banks' that was positioned within the southern archipelago, was proclaimed - by certain invidious persons - to be a dark side of the architecture in general. However, the true assignment of that bridge was only ascertained later, when the area upon which the bridge is located was proclaimed to be a nature park.

At the end, one is compelled to feel respect towards the whole network of the underground catacombs under the city of Zagreb, projected by this doyen for the subterranean creatures, which preserved them from decay in the best possible manner. For instance, his houses made of asphalt never lived to be realised, although this project brought him the winning award in the contest of the anti-architects in the spaces of the London subway.

However, an interview was never performed. Two days before our meeting, I was informed that our architect perished in his newly built family house on the Istrian Punta Verudela Cape. He fell into an abyss together with the foundations, followed by the wall construction. Eyewitnesses tell that only the roof remained hanging in the air.

Jurkovic '88

AN INTERVIEW WITH OUR ARCHITECTURE'S LEGEND

(Part of an interview published in a 'Focus' magazine no. 274)

FOCUS: So, you were pleading for all the monuments in Matulic Street to be knocked down despite opposition from community structures?

JERMANIS-NAKIC: Yes, I did, and I plead it to this very day.

Foc: For what reason?

Jer: You see, the project planning to knock down all the monuments in Matulic Street is the constituting part of the revitalisation of the Old Town that desperately needs its soul back. History, teacher of life, teaches us that cities without citizens, without life, are actually soulless cities. And then the city dies. It happened to the numerous ancient cities with beautiful buildings, but with no inhabitants, like for instance, Pompeii. Those are the dead cities.

Foc: It is interesting that you have already taken part in a few similar projects within the country and abroad.

Jer: It is indeed so. In San Pietro de Sugo Bolognese, a picturesque town in northern Toscana, I commissioned the demolition of the Municipality dating from the 12th century and built a drugstore on that very same spot. And so, life started to flow again.

Foc: Let's go back to the question of the controversial monuments. Is it really necessary to knock down all the monuments in Matulic Street?

Jer: Absolutely. During an interview at the Communist Committee I was offered to demolish only the monuments that were older than 1945, but I could not accept such a proposal out of principal.

Foc: Which ones?

Jer: All the monuments are of a recent date.