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Old 01-19-2009, 02:07 PM
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Masterpiece Unveiled [Mark Steyn]
There are few things drearier than cultural events to promote international harmony, so I gotta hand it to this guy David Cerny, who may be the greatest official Euro-artist of all time. The art in question is the commemorative sculpture to mark the Czech Republic's assumption of the presidency of the European Union traditionally an occasion for the usual lame Euro-boosterism. But Mr. Cerny's inventiveness began with his application:
The Czech government commissioned the work in the belief that it would be completed by artists from the 27 EU member-states. That, at least, is what Czech artist David Cerny promised in his project application. Instead, Cerny made up the names of the European artists supposedly participating in the project and put it together with a couple of friends.
It gets better from there. Since its unveiling in Brussels, the sculpture has prompted outrage from EU diplomats:
"It is preposterous, a disgrace," Betina Joteva, press officer for Bulgaria's permanent representation in Brussels told the euobserver Web site. "It is a humiliation for the Bulgarian nation and an offence to national dignity."
Joteva has, perhaps, reason to be upset. Her country is depicted in the eight-ton sculpture as a Turkish toilet. Many speculated that the reference might be to the centuries Bulgaria spent under Turkish rule.
But in a conversation with SPIEGEL ONLINE, the artist responsible for the sculpture, David Cerny, said it was intended to point to one of the things that is most obviously different for people who travel to Bulgaria. "No other country in Europe has those kinds of toilets," he said.
This photo gallery has scenes of the lavatorially unique nation and other highlights from Mr Cerny's Euro-map, including Denmark as a giant Mohammed cartoon in Lego. The Bulgars aren't the only ones upset:
Germany is shown as being criss-crossed by autobahns and some thought they recognized a slightly deformed swastika in the resulting design... Romania is shown as a Dracula theme park... Holland is shown as being flooded over with only a few minarets poking out above the waves...
But apparently the British are happy:
Responses from Great Britain, Cerny reports, have likewise been quite positive. The historically euro-skeptic country was left off the sculpture altogether.
01/15 10:19 AM
Euro-artists Speak [Mark Steyn]
Further to my post below on Czech artist David Cerny's magnificent yanking of the EU chain, I've been enjoying the official brochure the European Union got duped into issuing to commemorate his sculpture. It features the comments of the various fictional artists Mr. Cerny enlisted for his celebration of Euro-harmony. The Swedish sculptress "Sonja Aaberg" explains her entry thus:
IKEA customers across the world are led to believe, naively, that the world is composed of simple elements that we can understand, interlink, and repair if necessary. Populist politicians throughout the world exploit similar social engineering... I respond critically to this European hypocrisy with an IKEA flat pack in the shape of the Swedish kingdom, which conceals an inconvenient truth.
The acclaimed Slovene artist "Erwin Mrkosek" writes:
I have chosen a text by the official Slovenian national tourism agency as a departure point for examination of our national identity. According to this text, the first tourists appeared in Slovenia back in 1213 and left a message documenting their visit in one of the caves in the Postojna complex. The discovery that we ourselves are unquestionably the descendants of these tourists is telling; we view ourselves from the position of foreign visitors. This is a strategy associated with the delight of masturbation...
The United Kingdom entry, which is entirely non-existent to symbolize British antipathy to Europe, is annotated by its creator, "Khalid Asadi", as follows:
If art and associated attitudes are not to become pleasing-appearance ready-made goods, but a living, albeit perhaps fleeting, organism, art should be able to improve exactness of its message in the time allotted to it and thus, paradoxically, define itself in history... These screen points are spatial holograms of historical memory, experience, and therefore each such new overlap becomes another non-linear tangle to the naked eye.
I also like the list of previous exhibitions Mr Cerny has provided for each artist. You may recall "Sabrina Unterberger's" solo show in Vienna, "Ernst Logar is cooking a soup of his childhood."
It's one thing to put one over on a gallery owner or a contemporary art prize but to put one over on the European Union is pretty impressive. Even before it emerged that all these cutting-edge EU artists were made up by Mr Cerny, the Euro-bores weren't taking it well:
"This is very provocative for an official building and does not seem to have been properly discussed in the appropriate forum," said one official.
"This might all be very 'fun' for some people but shocking art is not going to help get things done," said another hissy official.
Now it's like August 1914 all over again:
The Bulgarian foreign ministry has called in the Czech Ambassador to "explain the Czech presidency's Entropa project."

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Old 01-19-2009, 05:17 PM
compress ignite's Avatar
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I Believe a Mr.W.Shakespeare...

'Best described the E.U. some four hundred (or so) years before it's unveiling, AS: "Much Ado About Nothing".
[My apologies to The Bard for my europification of his intents and memoriam]

Mr. Cerny simply translates:
"30 or so nations,pretending to act in concert,(without a pot to piss in)issuing directives to citizens of the Entire Milky Way."
into a more understandable (for EU member states) Bureaucratese.
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Old 01-19-2009, 08:09 PM
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Dead on balls accurate...
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So much for United Europe

Put them together and they act just like

"I have no convictions ... I blow with the wind, and the prevailing wind happens to be from Vichy"

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Old 01-20-2009, 06:14 AM
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Another 'Mark Steyn'.
Why do I always get the impression as looking at the works of a literary masturbator?
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Old 01-20-2009, 07:36 AM
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Here's what the thing looks like.
Attached Thumbnails
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Old 01-20-2009, 02:02 PM
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Originally Posted by 420SEL View Post
Here's what the thing looks like.
Lovely. Sheer poetry. I wish it to be placed in a prominent display garden in Brussels where it will stand as a symbol.

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