02
Jul
11

‘Spomenik’ by Jan Kempenaers

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Three Canons

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Be still with yourself

Until the object of your attention

Affirms your presence

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Let the Subject generate its own Composition

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When the image mirrors the man

And the man mirrors the subject

Something might take over

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Minor White 1968

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Gone is the modernist tenet of authorship in which everything in a photograph depends and can be traced to a single photographer acting in isolation. In its place, White supposes a relationship with subject that is a two way street: by granting the world some role in its own representation we create a photograph that is not so much a product solely of individual actions as it is the result of a negotiation in which the world and all its subjects might participate.

Vince Leo

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These are beautiful photographs; there is no fuss, no histrionics here. The use of light and the framing of subject are wonderful. The photographer has let the subject generate its own composition meaning that the sculptures speak for themselves: something takes over – an ethereal evocation of space and place.

The sculptures occupy a representational space appropriated by the imagination. “Lefebvre writes that it [representational space] “overlays physical space, making symbolic use of its objects” and is predominantly non-verbal in nature.”1 The photographs and their representational space offer the viewer the possibility of drifting (Guy Debord’s dérive) encouraging “an unplanned journey through a landscape… where an individual travels where the subtle aesthetic contours of the surrounding architecture and geography subconsciously direct them with the ultimate goal of encountering an entirely new and authentic experience.”2

I find the photographs truly authentic. I immerse myself in their presence: I embrace them because they are in my imagination, creatures of the deep recesses of the mind.

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Many thankx to Jan Kempenaers for allowing me to publish the photographs and text in the posting. Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the image. All photographs © Jan Kempenaers and courtesy of the artist.

Buy the book; support the artist!

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'Spomenik' by Jan Kempenaers

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This monument, authored by sculptor Miodrag Živković, commemorates the Battle of Sutjeska, one of the bloodiest battles of World War II in the former Yugoslavia.

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The Petrova Gora monument was designed by Vojin Bakić and built in 1982. It was dedicated to the people of Kordun and Banija who died during World War II. It was dismantled in 2011.

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The Kosmaj monument in Serbia is dedicated to soldiers of the Kosmaj Partisan detachment from World War II.

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The Kruševo Makedonium monument in Macedonia was dedicated to the Ilinden Uprising of 1903, when the Bulgarian population revolted against the Ottoman Empire.

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The Susanjar Memorial Complex in Bosnia and Herzegovina was created in remembrance of the thousands killed by Germans during the Orthodox festival of Ilindan in 1941.

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Built in 1963, this monument in Niš, Serbia commemorates the 10,000 people from the area that were killed during World War II. The three clenched fists are the work of sculptor Ivan Sabolić.

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This monument is in Korenica, on the border of Croatia and Bosnia. It commemorates Yugoslavia’s victory in World War II.

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This monument is dedicated to the soldiers who freed the city of Knin, Croatia from the fascists during World War II.

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Built in 1949, this monument was designed by Vojin Bakić and is dedicated to the fallen fighters of the Yugoslav front.

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The Kadinjača Memorial Complex commemorates those who died during the Battle of Kadinjača.

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This sculpture was built in 1973 and designed by Bogdan Bogdanovic. It is dedicated to the long mining tradition in Kosovo.

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1. Burgin, Victor. In/Different Spaces: Place and Memory in Visual Culture. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995, p.27.

2. Anon. “Dérive,” on Wikipedia [Online] Cited 28/06/2011. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dérive

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Jan Kempenaers information

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Dr Marcus Bunyan

Dr Marcus Bunyan is an Australian artist and writer. His work explores the boundaries of identity and place. He writes the Art Blart blog which reviews exhibitions in Melbourne, Australia and posts exhibitions from around the world. He has a Dr of Philosophy from RMIT University, Melbourne and is currently studying a Master of Art Curatorship at The University of Melbourne.

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