Cool Post-Yugoslav Super Sculptures: Spomeniks
Erected in bucolic fields in the middle of nowhere, Spomeniks ― which means ‘monuments’ in Serbo-Croatian ― look like alien docking stations, Star Trek props or Rick Owens furniture. Commissioned by ‘third way’ Balkan boss Josip Broz Tito back in the day to commemorate World War II battle sites, they resist traditional ideas of what a war monument should be. Tito tapped avant-garde architects and artists of the Yugoslav cultural movement, such as Dušan Džamonja, Vojin Bakić, Miodrag Živković, Jordan and Iskra Grabul, to design them with tons of visual-physical gusto demonstrating the confidence and strength of the Socialist Republic. The Spomeniks are basically ginormous sculptures with brutalist sci-fi qualities — huge, architectural, hectoring and hardcore. They are totem-like monoliths that embody abstract forms, axiomatic lines, quasi-Cubist contours and jagged geometries. We love them for their intergalactic edge, insane indefinable essences and wide wingspans. Built as tributes to a now-forgotten egalitarian future free of ethnic divisions and internecine violence, the Spomeniks represent a romanticized, pluralistic ideal that almost step outside of time. We ♥!