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Does Europe Have a Sense of Humor?

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Czec artist David Cerny decided to test the notion when he installed his sculpture ”Entropa” in the European Council building in Brussels. He was paid $800,000 to commemorate Belgim’s EU presidency with a work of art. His piece depicts unflattering stereotypes of the 27 EU countries in a map shape. Bulgaria, which was depicted as a hole-in-the-floor toilet, was the most miffed and removed its ambassador from Prague. Apparently the Czec Republic is already known for being somewhat anti-E.U. and Cerny also didn’t quite stay true to his propsal, which was supposed to involve artists from each country. He claims no bad intentions. He told The Times in London:

“I am seriously very pro-European. It would be a great pity if Europe would not be able to take this as a bit of satire and irony. If we are strong as Europe it should be OK for one nation to make fun of other nations.”

What’s the fuss? Here’s how he depicted some countries. You decide:

Bulgaria – a series of hole in the floor toilets
Netherlands – under water with minarets peeking through the water
Luxembourg – a lump of gold with a For Sale sign
France – the words “on strike”
Sweden – an IKEA cardboard box
Belgium – a box of chocolates
Great Britain – was absent from the sculpture, seemingly because of the country’s lack of interest in the E.U.
Germany – a series of roads which some say take the shape of a swastica, but Cerny denies it
Italy – a soccer field and players because of the country’s obsession
Spain – all concrete, representing the building boom that’s taken place in the last few years

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2 Comments

  1. petkostoyanov

    Petko Stoyanov
    This is my ART PROTEST against ENTROPA of David Cerny – http://entropa2.blogspot.com/

    Entropa degrades East European countries!
    David Cerny showed trivial stereotypes of some countries, and deep tragedies of other. This way he applied even stronger division of Europe.

    My proposal, as Bulgarian artist, is the critical project for Cerny’s art work as well as for real Europe’s inequality, divisions and problems. This is the same time very pro-European work, thanks to which the nations and EU could pay attention to really important problems of each country and aim to solve them.

    I think the deeper discussion should arise from the Cerny’s Entropa case, not only trivial provocation based on often funny for Cerny, but not seriously important stereotypes.

    What do you think? This is my answer here: http://entropa2.blogspot.com/

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