Photos: Branimir Prijak
Within the project "De/construction of Monument," "Urban Movement Mostar" (Veselin Gatalo and Nino Raspudić) came forward with an initiative to errect a monument to Bruce Lee in the city of Mostar. This initiative represents an attempt for the public spaces to regain their meaning, and at the same time to question the significance of monuments and symbols, old ones as well as new ones. By mixing up a "high" stylistic registry (monuments, grandeur, bronze) and a "low" one (mass-culture, kung fu, heroes of our childhood), a short circuit of reception is produced: the "high" stylistic registry is being deconstructed and the overwhelming mythomany is being ironized (Who are our heroes? Whom to and why do we build monuments?), but at the same time the "low" registry is being revalorized, for its power to evoke little ordinary things of everyday life that do not have anything to do with politics and ideologies, and that bring people and nations together instead of separating them (everybody is fond of Bruce Lee: Bosniaks, Croats and Serbs, left and right political options…). The value of Bruce Lee's figure lays in its universal character and in its concreteness, capable of provoking concrete emotions, first of all a sense of necessity to fight for justice. Therefore, in Mostar it is not the actor or the character played by him that the monument is being built to, but it is the very idea of justice, represented in a plastic and universally acceptable way, that is also able to awake some positive vibrations through the figure of the famous kung-fu hero we have loved so much during our childhood.
Nino Raspudić is co-founder and head of the NGO "Urban Movement Mostar."