Aliens Built These Surreal Brutalist Statues and Hid Them in Yugoslavia
As the Eastern-Bloc aesthetics rave across fashion, art and design this year, a project by Belgium photographer Jan Kempenaers documenting post-WWII ex-Yugoslavian war memorial statues revives as an inspiration for architect/designers alike. Kempenaers toured around Croatia, Serbia, Solvenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina in search of one thing—the crazy alien-like abandoned war memorials that look like nothing else on earth.
After the Soviet dissolved, these monuments lost their educational symbolism almost over night, and soon became abandoned and forgotten. Now standing around in lonely mountain ridges and wild plains, they have developed into something else. Something quite magnificent, grotesque and unbelievably cool. His project attempted to raise a question other than remembering the recent history of human ideological segregation, but also provokes the idea of looking at them purely as pieces of art, lost in a big, big capitalistic world.
During the Cold War era, Yugoslavian president at the time Josip Broz Tito commissioned architects and sculptors such as Dušan Džamonja, Vojin Bakić, Miodrag Živković, Jordan and Iskra Grabulto among many others to create powerful and outer-space like memorial statues where concentration camps were located or where battles took place. The soviet youth visited them during school trips to learn about the brutal history, and probably some of them got inspired to later become Bauhaus constructivism architects or abstract artists.
But at least these cold, concrete, bizarre and incredibly fascinating statues are crazy not only inspiring, but also crazy Instagram-friendly.