Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The End of History

Jasenovac Memorial by Jan Kempenaers

The Flower Monument in Jasenovac - from Belgian photographer Jan Kempenaers book "Spomenik: The End of History"

Willem Jan Neutelings, quoted from this book: "The Antwerp-based photographer Jan Kempenaers undertook a laborious trek through the Balkans in order to photograph a series of these mysterious objects. He captures the Spomeniks in the misty mountain landscape at sundown. Looking at the photographs one must admit to a certain embarrassment. We see the powerful beauty of the monumental sculptures and we catch ourselves forgetting the victims in whose name they were built. This is in no way a reproach to the photographer, but rather attests to the strength of the images. After all, Kempenaers did not set out as a documentary photographer, but first and foremost as an artist seeking to create a new image. An image so powerful that it engulfs the viewer. He allows the viewer to enjoy the melancholy beauty of the Spomeniks, but in so doing, forces us to take a position on a social issue."

Designed by Bogdan Bogdanović, the Flower Memorial is a monument built in 1966 on the site of the former Jasenovac Camp III (Brickworks). The memorial is made of reinforced concrete and consists of a base with six niches separated by concrete walls, along the bases of which are basins for water, and a central column which extends into the developed mantle of the Flower. The crypt of the monument is paved with railway sleepers and on the north side there is a bronze plaque on which verses from the poem Jama (The Pit) by Ivan Goran Kovačić are etched in relief.

The monument area of the former Camp III Brickworks in Jasenovac

Partisan Memorials in former Yugoslavia

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