Sebastián Velasco

Jebo ligu bez Veleža

Jebo ligu bez Veleža

Óleo sobre lienzo / Oil on canvas.
65 x 92 cm.

Sebas Velasco proved himself as a great documentarian of the urban life, especially of the residential suburbs of Easter Europe and the Balkans. With exceptional knowledge and continual interest for the local culture and history, he is managing to capture the essence of life inside his poetic works. Unstaged and spontaneous, these unpretentious images hide layers of history and honest testimonies about the everyday life of the given place or region. "Jebo ligu bez Veleža" is one of such works that holds a rich, painful narrative behind the most mundane setting. Based on artist's own photograph that was taken only earlier this year (2017), the image depict an 80s car parked in front of a residential building in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Symbolizing the struggling economical reality of the region, the car is merely a decoration for the writing on the wall that says "Jebo ligu bez Veleža (Fuck the (football) league without Velež)". FK Velež Mostar was one of the main football clubs in former Yugoslavia as well as the symbol of unity of multicultural Bosnia at the time. During the war in 90s their stadium was turned into a concentration camp, and was later given to Croatian HNK Zrinjski. The club is since then residing on a much smaller stadium on the outskirts of the city, just like people that support the unity are residing on the outskirts of torn society. The club itself represents a typical example or pattern of social state in Mostar, BIH and former SFRJ, as their games regularly end with violence, which is the continuation of the war, and its a reflection of the state in which the whole city and former country is in. Therefore, behind the decaying urban setting, this poetic image celebrates the unity and tolerance that once existed in the same space that is now filled with nationalism, hate and inequality.

Text by @sashabogojev.