Jan Kempemaers - Spomenik
During the 1960s and 70s, thousands of monuments commemorating the Second World War – called 'Spomeniks' – were built throughout the former Yugoslavia; striking monumental sculptures, with an angular geometry echoing the shapes of flowers, crystals, and macro-views of viruses or DNA. In the 1980s the Spomeniks still attracted millions of visitors from the Eastern bloc; today they are largely neglected and unknown, their symbolism lost and unwanted. Antwerp-based photographer Jan Kempenaers travelled the Balkans photographing these eerie objects, presented in this book as a powerful typological series. The beauty and mystery of the isolated, crumbling Spomeniks informs Kempenaer's enquiry into memory, found beauty, and whether former monuments can function as pure sculpture.