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Entropa

Here is the brochure for Entropa, a hilarious piece of artwork in the form of a giant airfix kit, that plays on some of the most offensive national sterotypes of Member States.  The accompanying notes set out the impressive curriculum vitae of every one the artists, from each Member State, who collaborated to produce this work.

A few pictures of the installation itself can be viewed here.

The explanatory catalogue shows Bulgaria labelled a “Turkish Toilet”: although that legend isn’t apparent on the sculpure itself. The Czech Ambassador has been called to Sofia to “explain” the insult.

Belgium is depicted in the guide as a chocolate box. The Netherlands is a collection on minarets poking a above a flood. Germany gets motorways arranged as a kind-of swastika. France is simply a huge banner proclaiming “GREVE”: On Strike. Some monks in Poland raise a gay pride flag, Iwo Jima Style. And Denmark – apparently – is depicted as a lego model of one of the MoToons; although I can’t find a picture of it online, and the representation in brochure doesn’t look very MoToony to me.

Have a look at what they’ve done with the United Kingdom.

My favourite part of the brochure is the section devoted to the Czech Republic: 

Let the head of state have his say!

A constant stream of brilliant Václav Klaus quotes. Words of wisdom that deserve to be etched in stone.

The President’s sublime, pertinent comments about the whole world, and especially the EU, whizzing across a three-line alphanumeric LED display.

He is OUR president, we elected him, so let’s show him off to the world with joy in our hearts. He’s not just a skier, he’s a great guy!

 Best of all, the artwork is the product of fraud:

Czech Deputy Prime Minister Alexandr Vondra said he was only informed on Monday that the installation was not the work of 27 European artists, but David Cerny and two colleagues.

Mr Vondra condemned Mr Cerny and said the Czech EU presidency was considering what steps to take before Thursday’s official launch.

“An agreement of the office of the government with the artist clearly stated that this will be a common work of artists from 27 EU states,” he said.

“The full responsibility for violating this assignment and this promise lies with David Cerny.”

Mr Cerny, who presented Entropa to his government with a brochure describing each of the artwork’s 27 supposed contributors from each member state, has apologised for misleading ministers, but not for the installation itself.

“We knew the truth would come out,” said Mr Cerny. “But before that we wanted to find out if Europe is able to laugh at itself.”

He added that Entropa “lampoons the socially activist art that balances on the verge between would-be controversial attacks on national character and undisturbing decoration of an official space”. 

I wish I were Czech.

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