Press Advisories

12. 1. 2009 15:09

Entropa: Stereotypes are Barriers to be Demolished

Today, the Czech Republic unveiled a modern art installation called 'Entropa' in the atrium of the Justus Lipsius builiding of the EU Council in Brussels.

The installation will remain in its stand-by mode until Thursday 15 January when it will 'start to live' in the full regime. On that occasion a press conference will be held in the Justus Lipsius building in the presence of Alexandr Vondra, the Deputy Prime Minister for EU Affairs of the Czech Republic, and Milena Vicenová, the Permanent Representative of the Czech Republic to the European Union, among others.

Entropa is the joint work of 27 artists, each one from a different Member State. Each object depicts one Member State using common stereotypes or prejudices. The Presidency commissioned the artists without any restrictions and they were free to create any object they liked.

'Sculpture, and art more generally, can speak where words fail. In line with the Czech Presidency motto a 'Europe without Barriers', we gave the 27 artists the same opportunity to express themselves freely, as a proof that in today´s Europe there is no place for censorship,' said Deputy Prime Minister Alexandr Vondra. 'In return we got an uncommon, yet common piece of art. I am confident in Europe´s open mind and capacity to appreciate such a project.'

'The freedom of art as an extension of the freedom of speech is the core value of democracy,' said Milena Vicenová, the Permanent Representative of the Czech Republic to the European Union. 'There are many barriers to integration and cooperation in Europe. Stereotypes are such barriers. When we point out the stereotypes we begin demolishing them. Making fun of prejudice destroys it most efficiently.'

The Czech Presidency’s motto a 'Europe without Barriers' expresses the dedication to remove remaining obstacles to cooperation between the EU Member States. In particular obstacles to the free movement of goods, services, persons and capital. The Presidency notes that other barriers also hamper a fruitful cooperation between the European nations.

The Czech government is renting Entropa until the 30 June 2009. The rental costs amount to €50,000. Other expenses, such as production costs, were to be borne by the creator, the Czech artist David Černý, born 15 December 1967 in Prague. His works can be seen in many locations in Prague and elsewhere. He gained notoriety in 1991 by painting a Soviet tank that served as a war memorial in central Prague pink. As the Monument to Soviet Tank Crews was still a national cultural monument at that time, he was briefly arrested. Another of Černý's conspicuous contributions to Prague is his 'Tower Babies', a series of cast figures of crawling infants attached to Žižkov Television Tower.

It is a Presidency tradition to install a decoration in the Justus Lipsius building atrium for the duration of the Presidency.

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