I always admired the Czechs for their potty mouths and I could smell fun the moment I heard they were about to take the EU presidency this month.
The cultural initiatives of the politicians in Brussels are hopelessly boring, especially for people in Eastern Europe who know all too well the merits of state-commissioned art. What is worse, communist agit-prop at least had some strong emotions as a foundation (wrong or right, it doesn’t matter). EU propaganda has a taste of a carefully brokered compromise between people who are extremely careful not to offend each other. In short – it tastes like meh.
But not this time. This year we have a winner – it’s an art installation in the Justus Lipsius building of the EU Council, named “Entropa”. Its author is… well, this is when the interesting stuff begins. It appears that the Czech government (or whoever else was responsible for commissioning it) was falsely led to believe that the exhibition would contain works by artists from all member states, each depicting a false stereotype about his or her homeland. Instead, it was created by three artists led by David Černý.
Designed to spark controversy in the capital of Political Correctness, the artwork represents a fragmented map of Europe, where each state’s shape contains a depiction of a particular, mostly wide-spread, stereotype. Germany contains a road network resembling a swastika, Holland is submerged under the sea if you don’t count several minarets, Poland is a hill where catholic priests plant a gay flag, Italy is a giant stadium where every player fucks a football and last but not least – Bulgaria is a giant toilet.
The artists say they wanted to check whether or not Europeans were able to laugh at themselves. Unfortunately my country, led by my prime minister, felt absolutely offended and summoned the Czech ambassador demanding an explanation, cementing the impression that Bulgaria is, indeed, a toilet. :)