Today was the official unveiling of Entropa. Entropa is a satirical sculpture created by controversial Czech artist David Černý and commissioned by the government of the Czech Republic. Having been alerted to Entropa by Jane earlier in the morning and after reading the NYT story about it I had to go. Justus Lipsius, the building where the exhibit is being hosted and also the home of the Council of the European Union, is only a short bike ride away 10k. With the sun shining and a clear sky (yes I said clear sky in Brussels) I set out to see what this hoax was all about.
The design is that of a brand new set of model or puzzle pieces each, "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".
Austria, a known opponent of atomic energy, is a green field dominated by nuclear power plant cooling towers
A view from under Entropa
United Kingdom, known for its Euroscepticism and relative isolation from the Continent, is "included" as missing piece (an empty space) at the top-left of the work
Sweden does not have an outline, but is represented as a large Ikea-style self-assembly furniture box, containing Gripen fighter planes
Slovakia is depicted as a Hungarian sausage (or a human body tighten by Hungarian tricolour)
Slovenia is shown as a rock engraved with the words first tourists came here 1213
Motto for 2009 in French
Motto in English
Poland has a piece with priests erecting the rainbow flag of the Gay rights movement, in the style of the U.S. soldiers raising the Stars and Stripes at Iwo Jima.
Portugal is shown as a wooden cutting board with three pieces of meat in the shape of its former colonies of Brazil, Angola, and Mozambique
Netherlands has disappeared under the sea with only a several minarets still visible; the piece is supposed to emit the singing of muezzins
A closer look at Entropa
The lower left hand corner
Italy is depicted as a football pitch whereupon the North and the South of the country play against each other, with moving players holding their balls in the "strategic position"
Ireland is depicted as a brown bog with bagpipes protruding from Northern Ireland; the bagpipes play music every five minutes
Hungary features an Atomium made of its common agricultural products melons and Hungarian sausages, based on a floor of peppers
Greece is depicted as a forest that is entirely burned, possibly representing the 2007 Greek forest fires and the 2008 civil unrest in Greece.
Germany is a series of interlocking autobahns, described as "somewhat resembling a swastika", though that is not universally accepted. The cars move along the roads.
Finland is depicted as a wooden floor and an [apparently drunk] male with a rifle, imagining various animals
Estonia is presented with a hammer and sickle-styled power tools, the country has considered a ban on Communist symbols
Czech Republic's own piece is an LED display, which flashes controversial quotations by Czech President Václav Klaus
Cyprus is jigsawed (cut) in half
Captions curtisy of Wikipedia