morning (okay, it was actually the early afternoon) as we were sitting in bed and perusing our respective morning technology stops, Dave sent me a link to these amazing monuments via the Crack Two blog. Obviously, my special handsome gentleman friend knows what I like.
As mentioned on the blog: These structures were commissioned by former Yugoslavian president Josip Broz Tito in the 1960s and 70s to commemorate sites where WWII battles took place (like Tjentište, Kozara and Kadinjača), or where concentration camps stood (like Jasenovac and Niš). They were designed by different sculptors (Dušan Džamonja, Vojin Bakić, Miodrag Živković, Jordan and Iskra Grabul, to name a few) and architects (Bogdan Bogdanović, Gradimir Medaković…), conveying powerful visual impact to show the confidence and strength of the Socialist Republic. … After the Republic dissolved in early 1990s, they were completely abandoned, and their symbolic meanings were forever lost.
The question now is how these monuments function as pure sculpture within their landscape. From my perspective, they hold a three-fold function. Despite the dissolution of the Socialist Republic, they still embody their original purpose as marking the land involved in significant events during WWII. But they also work as tribute to the fallen Republic, for good or for ill, and the values that it sought to uphold. When thinking of preservation, I feel that there is no room for moral judgement (all though all those old “socialist worker” statues I found hidden in a thicket along the perimeter of the Výstaviště Praha in the olden days of 2004 makes me think that not all governments share my viewpoint). Lastly, the monuments act as large scale pieces of sculpture, interacting with their surrounding environment. I think that this creates a bit of a quandary for preservationists to consider. What would be the main focus to any preservation effort? Would the structures be allowed to deteriorate into their landscapes? This interaction does seem to be an important factor in their view, use, and significance. Or, ideally, should they be returned to the grand state of their original intent and creation?
Dave also sent me a brief post from the WFMU Free Music Archive blog about the Cylinder Preservation and Digitization Project. It’s in conjunction with UCSB and was sponsored by the Institute of Museum and Library Services. I have yet to extensively peruse the archive, but it does remind me a bit of the new place that I am working for. I wonder how many worker bees typed up the metadata for this one! Sorry. Just a little joke about “workflow”.
Also, if you are viewing this blog in its full glory, you might notice that I have made some graphics changes. It’s a springtime Saturday night so, of course, I am on my couch, hot water bottle on against my back, Best Worst Movie playing softly on the TV, and working on “branding” for With Care. This is the second-to-last step (the last step is getting the actual website up and running. Projected completion date 2021) in solidifying a cohesive, ahem, “brand identity”- a term I still kind of choke back when using. If you’ve ordered anything, you may have noticed that packaging quality has risen to staggering heights what with the advent of matching labels and graphics and tiny surprises. I’ll try to include some pictures of the packaging process soon. I’m even thinking of adding in some embossed mini golf pencils. Yay or nay?