BBC has reportedly called Czech avant-garde artist David Cerny a new “guerrilla artist”, because of his sculpture titled, \’Entropa\’ revealed last January (2009) for the Czech’s inauguration to the EU Presidency. Cerny kept the piece under hat up until the opening, so that it was a major surprise when the curtain was “pulled”. The eight-ton mosaic of European countries pictured each country in a not so appealing light. However originally it was supposed to show something special about each culture and their unique qualities, ha-ha the joke is on the EU and it turned out to be one of the largest controversial hoaxes in European Art History. Bulgaria is represented as a multitude of open toilets, France is on strike, the Netherlands is flooded, Germany is a highway in the shape of a swastika, Britain is not even on the map and the list goes on. Bulgaria was so enraged about the work that they immediately questioned the Czech ambassador on the meaning of it and demanded that the piece be removed. When questioned about the purpose of the installation Cerny said that he assumed Europe had a sense of humor, and that it was impossible to refund the money for it.
Cerny’s “Europa” was not the only Art scandal to storm the EU, the show that was actually commissioned in Brussels’ to commemorate the Czech’s presidency was titled “Dekadence” by Czech curator Otto M. Urban, and was based on the ideas of madness, death and sex. Artist included in this show but not limited to were works by Hugo Steiner-Prag, Emil Orlik, Ferdinand Staeger, František Bílek, Karel Hlaváček, Alfons Mucha, Josef Váchal and Jan Konůpek. The movement and ideas behind Dekadence is also based on writers such as the Marquis de Sade, George Batillie and Frederick Nietzsche. The Dekadence show was better received then Cerny’s “Europa”, however both prove that Czech art is starting to make a dent in Europe and not in such a pretty way.
To find out more information on the mentioned artists, curators and exhibitions, check out the following links:
Otto M. Urban