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Jan Kempenaers' Spomeniks « Previous | |Next »
June 20, 2013

Spomeniks means monuments in Serbo-Croatian.

The ones Jan Kempenaers, a Belgian photographer, photographed are those from the 1960s and 70s. They were commissioned by Tito to commemorate second world war battle sites. They are unlike any war memorials in Australia.

KempenaersSpomenik_01.jpg Jan Kempenaers, Spomenik #1, 2006, designed by Dušan Džamonja

They are memorials to the fight for independence of Marshall Tito's partisan army, who led the resistance against the German army. Despite their historic significance and architectural beauty the Spomeniks are crumbling: they are urinated on and scrawled with graffiti. Instead of being preserved as objects of cultural heritage, they are slowly decaying in the countryside.

KempenaJSpomenik#15.jpg Jan Kempenaers, Spomenik #15 (Makljen), 2007

His staging and imagery refer to the visual elements of the communism: linear perspective, symmetry and geometrical abstract forms. Kempenaer's work reminds me a little bit to the work of Bernd and Hilla Becher and their typologies of industrial buildings and structures but it his approach is less neutral.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 7:46 PM |