Dox

Dox

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34 Osadní, Prague, , Czech Republic

The buzzy contemporary-arts center that opened in October 2008. One of the first exhibits in this sprawling 1920’s metal factory (redesigned by the contemporary Czech architect Ivan Kroupá) was the enormous installation called Entropa, by Czech artist David Cerný. A 40-foot-high mosaic suspended on a pipe system, with steam whistles and moving parts, it’s a wild sort of map of the 27 EU member states: Romania is a Dracula-themed park; the Netherlands a flooded plain dotted with half-submerged mosques; Italy one enormous soccer pitch on which players run chaotically in all directions. It was commissioned to be exhibited at the European Council building in Brussels for the duration of the Czech presidency, but generated so much controversy that it was dismantled and sent back to Prague—to the mixed dismay and amusement of art-savvy Czechs, who could have told any well-meaning Eurocrat that Cerný, a self-styled enfant terrible and Prague celebrity, was not the guy for such a serious-minded job. (In the immediate aftermath of the Velvet Revolution, he painted a Soviet tank cotton-candy pink and affixed a huge raised middle finger atop it.) Post-controversy, Cerný admitted that the 27 artists he’d listed as collaborators—one from each EU country—were all fictitious; the work was entirely his and that of two associates.

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