January 16, 2009
The Czech Presidency has come up with a great idea to install a huge public artwork to the entrance of the Justus Lipsius building in Brussels. Probably this has been the most debated European project in these days. I really believe in this kind of public discourse, having tried to start discourse on unresolved issues in Hungarian policy-making with the help of artists back. What makes such a commissioned piece of art interesting is that the artist has fooled the the Czech government commissioner. Art is dangerous!
DJ Nozem calls this Prankster Presidency and quotes the artist, David ?erný extensively. Kosmopolito describes the whole project in detail.The Adam Smith Institute blog says “Whether or not it’s good art, the Entropa installation by Czech artist David Cerny is pure genius. The Czech Republic should be made permanent holders of the EU Presidency”. However, the Czech Republic is shy on its achievement, and the CNN.com reports that they have apologized for the act. Corina Murafa has pointed out the irony behind the fact that the Czech Presidency is also responsible for kicking off the European Year of Innovation and Creativity.
As all good art, Entropa is working and like a lunar explorer it finds the identity problems of the member states. BBC reports that poor Bulgaria is outraged:
“It is preposterous, a disgrace,” Betina Joteva, press officer for Bulgaria’s permanent representation in Brussels told the euobserver Web site. “It is a humiliation for the Bulgarian nation and an offence to national dignity.”
Bulgaria, that feels very offended by the work that depicts a Turkish toilet on its map, has already urgently summoned Czech ambassador to Bulgaria Martin Klepetko to the Foreign Ministry in this connection.
Dear old Mr Klaus, the president of the holders of the EU presidency has found David ?erný’s artwork as subversive as the Soviet Union. Well, somehow he finds everything as subversive as the Soviet Union, he is also convinced that environmentalists who care about climate change are like water mellons: green outside, rouge Communist inside.
I think this project will be cited for decades, and it is so 2009. In many ways Cerny was brave, but many ways questionable or incredible. He has apologized, sort of, which shows the shallow fundamentals of the project. Also it was a cheap way to attract frenzy when he had chosen a toilet as a symbol of Bulgaria. In a way this project has best shown all the good and bad things about our European civilization.Dániel Antal