The Third Way Revisited

written by Kenneth Frampton

Processual concrete utopia is present in both the fundamental elements of reality as known by Marxism: in its tendency, as the tension of obstructed capabilities, in its latency, as the correlate of the not yet actual real possibilities in the world.
Ernst Bloch, The Principle of Hope, 1954.
Apart from the initial impact of the tripartite screen projection showing re-edited original footage by Mila Turajlić under the title We Build Our Country and Our Country Builds Us, the most arresting images in the current MoMA exhibition, Toward a Concrete Utopia: Architecture in Yugoslavia, 1948–1980, are the blown-up photographs of concrete itself, taken by the Swiss photographer Valentin Jeck. The exhibition’s double title alludes not only to the concrete out of which Tito’s socialist Yugoslavia was literally built, but also to the idea of a concrete utopia as formulated by Ernst Bloch in his magnum opus, The Principle of Hope of 1954, to which the curators, Martino Stierli and Vladimir Kulić make an overt allusion in their introduction to the catalogue.