Monday, June 21, 2010

Adventure #046 - The Entropa Exhibition

Like almost everybody here, I really like the Czech artist David Cerny. His creations are both funny, controversial, modern and different. You can see some of them all around Prague, like the giant babies crawling on the Zizkov TV Tower. For the Czech European Presidency in 2009, he was asked to make a sculpture that would be exposed in Brussels. All the European countries get to be at the head of the Council of the EU, changing every six months, and they all present some piece of art for the occasion. Usually nothing extraordinary and of course preferably non-controversial.

But of course, if you ask David Cerny to make something, he is not going to be proper and nice . The artist decided to represent the 27 European countries by their stereotypes.

After staying a bit in Brussels, Entropa came back to Prague. I had heard about it and really wanted to see it, but as I am really good at procrastinating, I waited until the last week of the exhibition to go. So on a Friday afternoon, Angela and I went to Dox Gallery. As I had already seen pictures and heard a lot about Entropa, it was not a big surprise but I still really liked it.

France was draped in a banner on which was written "Grève" (Strike), which is indeed probably the way most people see us (and maybe they are quite right ...). The UK seems to have such a lack of interest in the European Union that it was a blank space. Sweden is an Ikea box, Italy a football pitch on which players are masturbating with footballs, Romania is Dracula theme park, and so on.

David Cerny explained in an interview that he was influenced by Monthy Python, Sascha Baron Cohen and the French TV show Les Guignols de l'Info. Entropa made a lot of noise. Bulgaria for example didn't agree with the way the artist had represented the country - as Turkish toilets. As a result, the piece of the sculpture representing Bulgaria had to be hidden for a while. To know more about all the controversies around Entropa and how all the European countries were represented, you should read the article on Wikipedia: More about Entropa.

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