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Jan Kempemaers: Spomenik [Hardcover]

W J Neutelings

Price: 29.95 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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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.

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Amazon.com: 3.7 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Under-appreciated masterpieces 20 Feb 2012
By vk - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Having grown up in that part of the world, I remember as a child being taken to "spomeniks" on school field trips. It is only as an adult that I have come to appreciate their artistic content and stunning beauty. They stand as commemoration to the all too many lost in war's fury, as reminders of the terrible toll that wars have taken in the Balkans. And yet they offer hope, showing that humans are capable of sublime expression in the face of immense tragedy. I applaud Jan Kempenaers's aesthetic vision, but lament that he has chosen to marginalize the authors of these masterpieces by treating them only as visual objects. But most of all, I lament that they stand in silent ruin today when their message is so desperately needing to be heard.
9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars lost in the mountains 11 Aug 2011
By Bob - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The artists showed marvelous vision. The book itself would have benefited by including more information about the artists and their work.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars So close, but yet so far 4 Jan 2014
By robert hackney - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The photos are glorious, but there is NO story behind the sculptures/memorials...no brief bit of history, nada. I was hugely disappointed. There REALLY needs to be an addendum to the book that actually talks about these things. As it is, it's just a collection of "the greatest hits" of each piece. I'm sure he has many different views. It would have been good to see more than one angle.

In short, the idea is fantastic. It just wasn't taken NEARLY far enough...and now that it's been done once, I doubt anyone will redo it, and do it properly.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars cool 27 Nov 2013
By Nastya - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
a great album!! it is great to have in your own library or to make a gift to anyone in love with photography and landscapes
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, spooky stuff 18 Dec 2013
By Mr. Protocol - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Buried in the back of this book, in fine print, is a detailed one-page explanation of how these monuments came to be. There is no mention of what they mean individually, and most of them look like they were built by aliens having a love affair with concrete. I don't buy photo books, but I saw this man's photos of spomeniks in a gallery, and I couldn't forget them. Finally I broke down and bought this book. I didn't regret it. I don't think you will, either.
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