Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Peace & Freedom

After dining on superb cabbage soup with turkey meat, cornflake-coated fried codfish, and cheese and sun-dried tomato stuffed chicken at Bar Bar, we trekked to two of Prague's alternative sites.

With "Imagine" and "Love's All You Need" cued up one our iPod, we stopped to pause and read the messages for peace and freedom on the John Lennon graffiti wall. Our next mission was visit a few of the controversial sculptures by Czech art David Černý. His most famous act was probably painting a Soviet tank pink- while it was an active war monument. He was briefly arrested for the stunt and the tank was repainted green. Later Parliament repainted the tank pink and moved it to a museum. However, the city is still filled with his unusual sculptures. You might also want to check out his most recent sculpture that has been banned from exhibits.

The sculpture Piss is located in the courtyard of the Franz Kafka museum. The pool the men are peeing into is actually in the shape of the Czech Republic. Their body parts are animated and they "write" words and phrases of peace and freedom. Apparently you can send a text message to a number and the sculptures will "write" your message. Marriage proposal idea - anyone?
The second sculpture, Quo Vadis, is located in the courtyard of the German Embassy. The name means "Where are you going?" and the sculpture premiered on the eve of the joining of the German currencies after reunification.
It is a good thing this sculpture wasn't located in the courtyard of the US Embassy - because then all of about a dozen people would get to enjoy it. Speaking of the US Embassy, we stopped by to check it out since it was down the street from the German Embassy. While it was not barricaded in and the road in front of it rerouted, it did have an interesting feature. If you want to drive on the road past the US Embassy be prepared to stop your car, present identification, open the the trunk and hood for inspection, and have the underneath searched for bombs. I am sure all the neighbors love this - but hey, I guess you don't have to worry much about petty crime.

1 comment:

Anna said...

That fountain will forever be my most vivid memory of prague. i sat on a bench and watched people's reactions to it. I didn't realize it wrote words though. that is a very entertaining feature. I'll have to watch more carefully when i go back!