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Stereotypes are barriers to be demolished: Europe on an art map

>> 14 January 2009

Each time the EU presidency changes, the country in charge mounts some form of national display at the Brussels EU building. The French, which held the job until January, presented a giant balloon in its national colors.

The Czech seem to have chosen a more controversial way of manifesting their presidency. The exhibit "Entropa" comes in the form of a giant child's model kit. The 27 EU nations are each represented by a piece in their shape.

Czech deputy prime minister, Alexandr Vondra, says he supports freedom of expression, that it's a piece of art and that it would be a tragedy if Europe is not strong enough to look at it.

Italy is represented by a display illustrating its "autoerotic" obsession with soccer.

Sweden is portrayed by a flat packing carton by the country's furniture giant Ikea. Luxembourg is presented as a golden nugget with a "For Sale" sign attached. Germany appears as a series of nine interlocking motorways.

More risky, Poland's contribution pokes fun at the Catholic Church, showing priests mimicking the iconic pose of soldiers raising the U.S. flag on Iwo Jima in 1945. The Netherlands is submerged beneath the sea with only the minarets of five mosques visible.

Bulgaria, which was once under Ottoman domination, is portrayed as a "Turkish toilet" made up of footmarks and a hole in the ground.

France has a large 'on strike' sign pinned to its outline.

Reuters informed that the artist David Cerny was condemned for duping the Czech government into thinking it was made by 27 artists from each country.


Unknown 15 January 2009 at 21:12  

The ego is a funny thing. Multiplied into whole countries the ego really stands out and screams! It is like all these countries went out and bought a bright red sports car. :-)

Mindful Mimi 19 January 2009 at 17:10  

Jay: very true indeed. Always hated bright red sports cars anyway.

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