25 abandoned Yugoslav monuments that look like they’re from the future
“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 and architects, conveying powerful visual impact to show the confidence and strength of the Socialist Republic. In the 1980s, these monuments attracted millions of visitors per year, especially young pioneers for their ‘patriotic education.’ 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 with the help of a 1975 map of memorials, bringing before our eyes a series of melancholy yet striking images.”
This is making rounds on my dash again so I will repeat what I said a year ago: these aren’t actually abandoned. And the sentence “their symbolic meaning is forever lost” is not very well-informed, since at least one of these sculptures - the third one of the concrete flower in Jasenovac, near the site of the 1940s death camp, (also Niš, Sisak, and Knin) - still has massive cultural, historical, religious and psychological significance for all the death camp survivors and their families, and everyone who fought in any war for (or against) Yugoslavia.
This isn’t history: it’s still cultural memory, and its symbolic meanings remain present.
Saying that the Republic ‘dissolved’ is like saying that getting electric shocks to your genitals is ‘slightly unpleasant’ - the Yugoslav Wars lasted for a total of seven years (1991-1995, and then 1998-1999/2001), during which there were all the things you can find in a war with some ethnic cleansing and genocide thrown in for good measure. These sculptures date as far back as the Second World War, that much is accurate, but people still remember: a memorial ceremony is held every year at Jasenovac and other locations, because these things are kind of hard to forget, even though it’s been decades since they occurred.
This article isn’t only misinformed and inaccurate, it also doesn’t credit the original photographer, and my semi-professional opinion as someone who was born in Yugoslavia is that it’s bullshit.
The pictures are nice, though.
An ancient city famous for its rock-carved architecture and water-conduit system. May have been built up to 2,300 years ago.
The fun part about working with museums is that the institutional racism is so thick you can cut it with a knife. These two pictures are of database index trees that are created to help people search for art or artifacts. Notice the categories under “African Art” in the first picture… Yup, all it says is African Art… again. What you can’t see is that there are 7 categories under Asian Art. It took me 2 weeks to get them to change it to regions in the second picture. So now, if you search for West African, you won’t get stuff from Kenya and Egypt too.
African cultural items are often poorly managed, poorly catalogued, poorly maintained, and when on display, poorly mounted. They aren’t the priority of most museum spaces and there isn’t as much available literature on the items as there is for Greco-Roman crap: that’s some old colonial bullshit.
However, I still stand by the idea that they shouldn’t even have these cultural items in their possession, but until that day comes, they’re going to learn how to respect them.
I probably need to start a museum displays tag….because while we’re seeing great strides in some directions, it’s because of people who are actively trying to fight the existing problems in the way information is presented to us….
self portratis by paul zizka in banff national park (see also: victor liu and previous posts of the aurora and milky way)
CEMENT ECLIPSES @ CHIAPAS MEXICO
Artist Isaac Cordal (tumblr / facebook) - “With the simple act of miniaturization and thoughtful placement, Isaac Cordal magically expands the imagination of pedestrians finding his sculptures on the street. Cement Eclipses is a critical definition of our behavior as a social mass. The art work intends to catch the attention on our devalued relation with the nature through a critical look to the collateral effects of our evolution. With the master touch of a stage director, the figures are placed in locations that quickly open doors to other worlds. The scenes zoom in the routine tasks of the contemporary human being”.
1. French: literally, “black beast”.
2. something especially hated or dreaded; a bugbear; something to be avoided.
3. a detested person.