Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Punk'd: The Art Episode

Times: In reality, [David Cerny] designed all the elements of his Entropa installation himself. Cerny did not create an entry for Britain because he said the country did not want to be part of Europe. Romania is depicted as a giant Dracula theme park in tribute to the Transylvania region of the East European country

Controversial artist David Cerny punk'd the European Union by creating a giant art installation (supposedly created by artists from each country) that mocks the member countries by portraying them as gross stereotypes. How to choose the best mocking? I have to go with leaving an empty space for Great Britain, as they never really wanted to be in the EU at all! But I imagine Bulgaria, portrayed as a giant lavatory, was the most upset. And that Romanian Dracula is hilarious.

Times (uk): Czech sculptor David Cerny admits £350,000 EU art hoax

It seemed like such a good idea at the time: what better way to celebrate the Czech Republic’s presidency of the European Union than a giant art installation, with input from every member state, showing what we really feel about our place in Europe?

True, some of the 27 entries were a little unusual. The eight-tonne work, entitled Entropa, depicted Romania as a Dracula theme park and the Netherlands as completely covered by water, with only the tops of minarets sticking out. The French component had the word “Strike!” emblazoned on it. And was that a hint of a swastika in the German entry, a bird’s-eye view of a series of autobahns?

It was several days, however, before anyone complained and the EU began to smell a rat. Only when Bulgaria – depicted as a Turkish lavatory – objected did the Czechs start to question the organiser of the project, the artist David Cerny. Yesterday Mr Cerny admitted that the whole thing had been a hoax, and that he had created all the sculptures himself and invented the names of the “up-and-coming” artists from the 27 member states.

There was also the question of what became of £350,000 in funding meant for the artists.


The discovery explains why journalists were unable to find British artist “Khalid Asadi” to ask him why he chose not to contribute a sculpture – an omission explained in Mr Cerny’s brochure as a statement that Britain did not want to be part of Europe.

Photo Gallery: Entropa

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