TitleThe Spomenici Series
Entry descriptionThe Spomenici Series was photographed in the spring of 2014 and summers of 2015 and 2016.
Spomenici translates to ‘Monuments’. These structures were commissioned by former Yugoslavian president Josip Broz Tito in the 1960s and 70s to commemorate sites where WWII battles took place, or where concentration camps once stood.
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. In the 1980s, these monuments attracted millions of visitors per year, especially young pioneers for their "patriotic education."
After the Republic dissolved in early 1990s, they were completely abandoned, and arguably their symbolic meanings were forever lost. Today most structures show accelerated decay but remain powerful historic symbols.
In 2014 and 2015, Photographer Marc Koegel toured around the ex-Yugoslavia region (now Croatia, Serbia, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, etc.) looking for what remained of this once famed structures. His photos raise a question: can these former monuments continue to exist as pure sculptures? On one hand, their physical dilapidated condition and institutional neglect reflect a more general social historical fracturing. And on the other hand, they are still of stunning beauty without any symbolic significances.
Photographer Marc Koegel uses extended time exposures during daytime hours and the finished images are presented in black and white.
About the photographerMarc Koegel is a proud father of two, an international award-winning photographer, educator, writer and the director of Vancouver Photo Workshops LTD (www.vpworkshops.com).
His black and white long exposure landscapes, nudes and architectural photographs have been widely exhibited in Vancouver and internationally.
Born in Germany, Marc first came to Canada (where he now lives) in 1996 to earn an Economics degree. He has been seriously involved with photography ever since he was given his father's camera and darkroom setup at the age of 12 (Yes he fits this stereotype).
Marc has worked and studied with many internationally acclaimed photographers, including Joe McNally, Mary Ellen Mark, Greg Gorman, Arthur Meyerson, Jay Maisel, Ralph Gibson, David Hume Kennerly and Jon Cone from Cone Editions Press.
Marc's photography has won several international awards including the IPA (International Photo Awards), Spider Awards and PX3 (Prix De La Photographie Paris). Marc's work has also been featured on numerous web sites and photography blogs and recently on the Phase One website. Few photographers have the combination of photographic as well as educational experience Marc is known for. Years behind the lens and in front of students all add up to valuable experience.
To create his fine-art photographs, Marc uses the finest equipment available today; large format film as well as an 80 megapixel digital back on a technical camera. He travels extensively, his camera has taken him to over 50 countries in the last 2 decades.