Friday, 1 June 2012

Concrete Cathedrals...

I'm just middle class enough to really enjoy a good stroll around a sculpture park (not yet posh enough to own one), and whilst I'm not an avid camper, I think pilgrimage around these fascinating structures may well be in order. 
       *I've put up the photos of the standing ones, I find the remnants of those that have smashed a 
little too bleak. 

"These structures were commissioned by former Yugoslavian president Josip Broz Tito in the 1960s and 70s to commemorate sites where WWII battles took place, or where concentration camps stood. They were designed by different sculptors (Dušan Džamonja, Vojin Bakić, Miodrag Živković, Jordan and Iskra Grabul, to name a few) and architects (Bogdan Bogdanović, Gradimir Medaković...). In the 1980s, these monuments attracted millions of visitors per year. After the Republic dissolved in early 1990s, they were completely abandoned, and their symbolic meanings were forever lost.        

From 2006 to 2009, Kempenaers toured around the ex-Yugoslavia region (now Croatia, Serbia, 
Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, etc.) with the help of a 1975 map of memorials, bringing before our eyes a series of melancholy yet striking images. His photos raise a question: can these former monuments continue to exist as pure sculptures? On one hand, their physical dilapidated condition and institutional neglect reflect a more general social historical fracturing. And on the other hand, they are still of stunning beauty without any symbolic significances."

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