La Praga de David Černý en 7 esculturas
13 November, 2014
Prague is a monumental city, with great historic buildings that bring unique, elegant and refined atmosphere to the city. But a contemporary artist got to the city to turn upside down its classic harmony with some of his weird work.
Born in Prague, David Černý is a controversial, irreverent and disturbing artist who loves to provoke the audiences. And he does so! His sculptures, with a remarkable social criticism, against power and authority, disturbed some of his audiences.
David Černý started his career as a provoking artist when, along with his colleagues at the arts school, painted in bright pink a tank from the soviets at the garden of the German Embassy -a monument to Czechoslovakia liberation in 1945-. Černý was arrested for his colourful attack but now this tank is exposed at the Military Museum in Lešany, 20 kilometers away from Prague, ad a freedom symbol.
His work is all around the city where this artist was born. There are many, but this is a little route to the most shocking and remarkable work.
His first work, Quo Vadis?, was located at the German Embassy in Prague (Vlašská 19, Malá Strana). In Quo Vadis? Černý reinterprets Trabant, the most common car at East Germany, putting legs instead of wheels. It’s a tribute to over 3.000 Germans from the East who invaded the garden of this embassy on summer 1989, short after the fall of the wall.
The dead horse in Saint Wenceslaus
We already said that Černý’s work is the opposite to the classicism of this city. Thus, the dead horse of Saint Wenceslaus is a good example of that, oppositely to the classic stature located in the square of the same name. Saint Wenceslaus is, indeed, a symbol to the national Czech identity, and saint patron of Bohemia.
The version by Černý of this statue is pretty close to the original, at Lucerna avenue, but the horse is upside down, death and with its tongue out.
You should pay attention when passing by the centric street of Husava, at Staré Mesto. Actually, you should look at the sky if you don’t wanna miss it. Above, you’ll see the hanging stature, a human figure that looks a lot like Sigmund Freud.
As with most of the work by Černý, it’s open to interpretations and the artist was never willing to reveal the actual meanings.
Located by Franz Kafka Museum, at Cihelná 2b, 118. These are two figures that move thanks to an electric mechanism who are peeing in a small pool with the same shape as the Czech Republic as they write quotes, from famous local authors, with the effluent.
Next to this sculpture there is a phone number where you can send SMS suggesting your own quote to be written by this peculiar sculpture.
About 216 meters high, Žižkov is the telecommunications tower in Prague and the highest building in Czech Republic. Right here, David Černý located his disturbing work of ten dark babies who climb the building while crawling.
This sculpture can be seen also from the park at Kampa island, near Charles bridge.
Klaus & Knizak
At Futura Art Gallery (Holečkova 789/49), you should go by the stairs to find two great figures that are the bottom half of a human body to put your head by the hole on their bum. Inside, a satirical video is projected featuring the former president of the Czech Republic until 2013, Václav Klaus, and the artist Milán Knížák, feeding each other while the song "We are the Champions" is played.
This is a critic to the Czech politics and also to the voyeur viewer who just observers their actions without taking part.
In 2005, this work was presented for the Bienal in Prague, but it was forbidden in other exhibitions in Belgium or Poland. This piece presents Saddam Hussein’s image captive, on his underwear and bound hand and foot, immersed in a tank of formaldehyde. The work is signed by Mahoma and was presented one year before Hussein was killed, in 2006.
Quo Vadis? by VitVit | Pink tank by Hynek Moravec| Miminka by Evrik| Piss by UkillaJJ
So you feel like visiting Prague, do you? Book your flights here!
13 November, 2014