Related News

Home » World

Cover-up and the case of the toilet artist

AN art installation at the European Union headquarters was altered yesterday to cover up the part that showed Bulgaria as a squat toilet after protests from the aggrieved nation.

Bulgaria formally protested at the way it was depicted on a work by Czech artist David Cerny that poked fun at each of the EU's 27 nations.

It bears the outlines of EU nations on a tubular grid showing each country, warts and all. France is depicted as on strike, the Netherlands is covered by floodwaters pierced only by minarets of mosques. And Britain is such a reluctant European that it does not appear at all.

The huge artwork graces the main lobby of the EU Council's headquarters in central Brussels and was the Czech Republic's attempt to celebrate its six-month presidency of the EU. Still, it has achieved the ultimate accomplishment of any contemporary piece of art: it created an overnight sensation.

It was also a national embarrassment for the Czech Republic. Cerny apologized last week when "Entropa" was unveiled and he promised to remove any part of it that offended a nation's pride.

Only Bulgaria took him up on his offer and yesterday the white toilet was covered up with a black shroud.

Unlike the usual saccharine pictures of Mediterranean sunsets and Alpine peaks on show around EU buildings, it has drawn onlookers and triggered wry smiles over the past week.

Cerny originally claimed that 27 artists from each EU nation had contributed to the project, but last week he said he had created it himself with some of his friends. He has promised to repay his US$65,870 fee to the Czech government.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend