RTS vs. ŁKS: Or what the walls of Łodz say

Jan(usz) III Waza

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From the Graffiti Review: 

"At first glance RTS vs. ŁKS looks like some sort of coffee table-book of hooligan graffiti. The album comprises walls photographed in the Polish city of Łódź. Located slap-bang in the middle of the country the place is home to one of its nation’s most vicious football rivalries.

In her introduction to the book Monika Łukowska describes it as an area where the fans are more active in their support and loyalty than are their teams own players. Although the description of a ‘fierce rivalry’ is so over-used it’s almost a cliché fans of the two Łódź teams, ŁKS and RTS Widzew, are pretty extreme. Whilst violently defending their housing estates they play out their confrontation on the walls of the city.

However the publication actually has a more satirical take on the hooligan graffiti of Łódź. The slogans recorded on the pages of this book are really the work of a writer who goes by the name of ‘Jan(usz) III Waza’. Bored with the violent insults sprayed all over the place Jan Waza began using up the dregs of his mates paint to respond to the city’s hooligans. The result was an ever increasing series of amusing and bizarre ripostes in the vein of the surreal graffiti of the Situationists. The initial response by residents to these childish slogans was that they originated with the hooligans themselves. Pictures of the newly painted walls soon began circulating on social media.

Conceptually this is a brilliant idea. To read on a wall that “ŁKS fans cook rice in a kettle” or that “RTS fans hallucinate on field mushrooms” is an entertaining joke. While in all fairness “ŁKS fans think House & Home is a magazine for thieves” could be said about Liverpool’s fans as well. Meanwhile the farcical “ŁKS fans make horseradish sauce out of apples” appears to be a completely ridiculous insult to write. Lots of the graffiti works because its absurdity is as impenetrable, as much of the hooligan graffiti is, to the outsider who views it.

Overall the RTS vs. ŁKS book is a nice collection of photographs that focuses on the content of the tagging rather than the aesthetic. By subverting football graffiti Jan Waza has created some great surrealist work."

Note from Stanchion:

The contents of this book are entirely in Polish and contains no English translation

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15 x 15 cm
86 pages
Second edition
2018
Polish
9788394099909