In a politically divided Mostar, building a monument to Bruce Lee represents an attempt for the public spaces to regain their meaning, at the same time questioning the significance of monuments and symbols, both old and new. While politics and ideology have occupied and poisoned all segments of everyday life, in Mostar and in the whole of Bosnia and Herzegovina, we would like to remind ourselves by building up the monument that a significant part of our lives, memories of our childhood and the first real values of life have nothing to do with politics or the ‘great narrations’. Furthermore, in a city where everything is divided, we would like to be reminded that, outside of this vicious circle of national conflict, there still exist numerous things that are common to all citizens of Mostar. The monument is not being built for Bruce Lee the actor or the characters he played, but rather it is being built for the very idea of justice, represented in a plastic and universally acceptable way, that might also have the power to awaken some positive vibrations through the figure of the famous kung-fu hero we loved so much during our childhood (Nino Raspudić).
On 26 November 2005, the Bruce Lee Monument in Veliki Park, Mostar was inaugurated following an initiative by the NGO Urban Movement in Mostar (Veselin Gatalo and Nino Raspudić). The creator of the Bruce Lee monument is Ivan Fiolić from Zagreb.
Read the text of Nino Raspudić below to learn more about the why and how of the Bruce Lee monument.
The monument has been erected in collaboration with the Sarajevo Center for Contemporary Art within the “De/construction of Monument” project, carried out in the framework of ‘relations’ - project initiated by the German Federal Cultural Foundation.
After the collapse of the former Yugoslavia, new national elites have begun to rewrite the history of their countries. Memories are being extinguished, places renamed, books altered, and at the same time new hymns, icons and symbols are being established. Particularly, the erection and dismantling of monuments is proof of a newly gained empowerment over history and its positing as a massive edifice. “De/construction of Monument” counters this manipulation with deconstruction. Artistic actions in public space, public discussions, workshops and diverse publications all aim to defuse the ideology implanted into historical understanding and change the currently existing cultural model.
For more details on "De/construction of Monument", visit its website or its dedicated page on the 'relations' project page.
Texts by project initiators, edited by Policies for Culture. Photos by ‘relations’