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Posts from the ‘Arts’ category

Prague’s David Černý: skillful s**t disturber

Considered “enfant terrible” in the European and Czech art scene, David Černý frequently has courted both controversy and amusement from the beginning in 1991 with the Pink (Soviet) Tank. Is he infuriating and crude or enlightened and hilarious? Is he misunderstood social commentator or attention-seeking hooligan? He continues to make art at home in Prague, and provoke strong reactions.

Černý’s creations can be found throughout the Czech capital city. You can decide for yourself if his artwork is inspiring or dull.

  • Babies (Miminka), at 2 locations
  • Brownnosers
  • Embryo
  • Hanging Out (Viselec)
  • Horse (Kůň)
  • K on Sun
  • Piss (Proudy)
  • Quo Vadis?
  • Zátopek’s Legs (Zátopkovy nohy)

Babies (Miminka)

Location: Television Tower, Žižkov.
DPP: Metro A to Jiřího z Poděbrad; tram 11, 13 to Jiřího z Poděbrad; tram 5, 9, 15, 26 to Lipanská.

The tower is the tallest structure in Prague with a height of 216 metres above sea-level. But I think it’s the faceless babies which are the true attraction. First installed on the tower in 2000, the sculpture consisting of ten fibreglass babies became a permanent exhibition in 2001. In October 2017, “Babies” were removed from the tower for long-needed cleaning and repairs. The sculpture is scheduled to return to the tower in spring 2018. More information in English about visiting the TV Tower can be found here.

David Cerny, sculpture, contemporary art, Prague, Praha, Czech Republic, fotoeins.com

Photo: 14 March 2009.

David Cerny, sculpture, contemporary art, Prague, Praha, Czech Republic, fotoeins.com

Photo: 14 March 2009.

námesti Jiřího z Poděbrad, Přemyslovská, Prague 3, Prague, Praha, Czech Republic, fotoeins.com

Žižkov tower (Žižkovská věž), at Náměstí Jiřího z Poděbrad and Přemyslovská. Photo: 4 August 2013.


Babies (Miminka)

Location: Museum Kampa, Malá Strana.
DPP: tram 12, 15, 20, 22, 23 to Hellichova.

Residing next to the museum on Kampa Island are three bronze “babies”. Check out the creepy slots for faces; yikes.

David Cerny, sculpture, contemporary art, Prague, Praha, Czech Republic, fotoeins.com

Photo: 6 December 2008.


Brownnosers

Location: Galerie Futura, Smíchov.
DPP: Metro B to Anděl, tram 9, 10, 15, 16 to Bertramka.

Two sets of headless bent-over fiberglass figures are found outside towards the (ahem) rear of the gallery; visitors are invited to climb the ladders to inspect each figure. I hear music emanating from an orifice. On this wet cold autumn day, I’m the only one here to ‘suffer’ the voluntary embarrassment of climbing up the stairs and sticking my head into the back end of one of the figures. Inside the circular aperture is a video of two men in masks feeding each other slop to the tune of Queen’s “We Are The Champions”; see video below. In caricature are Vaclav Klaus, who was Czech president (2003-2013), and Milan Knížák, who was director of the Czech National Gallery (1990-2011).

David Cerny, sculpture, contemporary art, Prague, Praha, Czech Republic, fotoeins.com

Photo: 6 November 2016.

David Cerny, sculpture, contemporary art, Prague, Praha, Czech Republic, fotoeins.com

Photo: 6 November 2016.


Embryo

Location: Na Zábradlí at Anenské náměstí (Anna Square), Staré Město.
DPP: Metro A or B, to Můstek; Metro B to Národní třída; tram 2, 17, 18 to Karlovy lázně (southbound); tram 2, 17, 18 to Národní divadlo (northbound).

Hidden in a corner of the Old Town near Charles Bridge is a little plaza named after Saint Anna. Something resembling an “embryo” glows red on the side of the building for Divadlo Na zábradlí (Theatre on the Balustrade). Is there some mystery inside to be revealed or something more insidious to be unleashed to the world?

David Cerny, sculpture, contemporary art, Prague, Praha, Czech Republic, fotoeins.com

This photo and below: 5 November 2016.

David Cerny, sculpture, contemporary art, Prague, Praha, Czech Republic, fotoeins.com

Is something lurking in the glowing embryo?


Hanging Out (Viselec)

Location: Husova at Betlémské náměstí (Bethlehem Square), Staré Město.
DPP: Metro A or B, to Můstek; Metro B to Národní třída; tram 2, 17, 18 to Karlovy lázně (southbound); tram 2, 17, 18 to Národní divadlo (northbound).

Look up, waaaaay up. The people around you will look strangely at you: what is he looking? Up above, a well-dressed gentleman in glasses and a suit hangs onto a beam with one arm, his calm steely gaze over you, me, and his surroundings. The man represented is supposed to be Sigmund Freud: what would he have thought about all this? Is his ceaseless gaze judging us with superiority?

David Cerny, sculpture, contemporary art, Prague, Praha, Czech Republic, fotoeins.com

Photo: 20 April 2008.

David Cerny, sculpture, contemporary art, Prague, Praha, Czech Republic, fotoeins.com

Photo: 20 October 2008.

David Cerny, sculpture, contemporary art, Prague, Praha, Czech Republic, fotoeins.com

Photo: 6 October 2009 with Canon 450D, 70-300 glass, settings: 1/320-sec, f/8, ISO400, 225mm focal length (360mm full-frame equivalent).


Horse (Kůň)

Location: Palác Lucerna, Nové Město.
DPP: Metro A or B, to Můstek; Metro A or C, to Muzeum; tram 3, 5, 6, 9, 14, 24 to Václavské náměstí.

This sculpture of Wenceslas sitting on a dead upside-down horse is a parody of the memorial statue by Myslbek (unveiled 1913, completed 1924) outside at Wenceslas Square nearby. I think the dead beaten horse says a lot about what Cerny thinks about a heroic figure in Czech history with near mythological dimensions. (In 2017, Palác Lucerna was added to the list of Czech National Cultural Monuments.)

David Cerny, sculpture, contemporary art, Prague, Praha, Czech Republic, fotoeins.com

Photo: 27 July 2013; compare this sculpture with the more “respectable” one below.

David Cerny, sculpture, contemporary art, Prague, Praha, Czech Republic, fotoeins.com

Pomník svatého Václava (Saint Wenceslas statue) by Josef Myslbek. Photo: 2 July 2010 at the top/southeast end of Václavské náměstí (Wenceslas Square).


K on Sun

Location: OC Quadrio (since 2014), Nové Město.
DPP: Metro B to Národní třída; tram 2, 9, 18, 22, 23 to Národní třída.

At the eastern end of the Quadrio shopping centre (Obchodní centrum, OC) is a large shiny rotating head of Franz Kafka, whose pieces rotate in different directions before coming back together as a whole. The 11-metre tall kinetic piece consists of 42 horizontal layers which can all move independently; see video below. With his face in a constant state of metamorphosis, the sculpture can represent Kafka’s anguish and complicated personality, a giant piece of metal reflecting outwards what might otherwise have been a form of introverted hell.

David Cerny, sculpture, contemporary art, Prague, Praha, Czech Republic, fotoeins.com

Photo: 5 November 2016.

David Cerny, sculpture, contemporary art, Prague, Praha, Czech Republic, fotoeins.com

Photo: 5 November 2016.


Piss (Proudy)

Location: Franz Kafka Museum, Malá Strana.
DPP: Metro A to Malostranská; tram 2, 12, 15, 18, 20, 22, 23 to Malostranská; tram 12, 15, 20, 22, 23 to Malostranské náměstí.

Two masculine statues relieve themselves in a metal pool of water in the shape of the map of the Czech Republic. The statues whirl and twirl their “streams” to spell out famous Czech sayings. The sculpture has its own mobile number; a text sent to that number will make the sculpture pause and begin “streaming” whatever that text message is. Located next to the Franz Kafka museum, the sculpture “mocks the idea of art as a cultural enterprise devoted to the national interest.”

David Cerny, sculpture, contemporary art, Prague, Praha, Czech Republic, fotoeins.com

Photo: 3 July 2008.


Quo Vadis?

Location: back of German Embassy at Vlašská 19, Malá Strana.
DPP: Tram 12, 15, 20, 22, 23 to Malostranské náměstí.

The “Trabant on four legs” at the rear of the German embassy marks an extraordinary set of events in late-summer/early-autumn of 1989. Thousands of East German refugees made their way into Prague and swarmed into the Embassy of West Germany (at the time) to seek safe passage to the west. Conditions on the embassy grounds quickly deteriorated, and after rounds of talks and negotiations, the various parties and nations agreed to allow people to leave the embassy, sparking this unforgettable scene on the evening of 30 September 1989. “Quo Vadis?” in Latin means “who goes there?”

David Cerny, Quo Vadis?, sculpture, German Embassy, Prague, Praha, Czech Republic, fotoeins.com

Back of the German Embassy in Prague. This photo and below: 17 March 2010.

David Cerny, sculpture, contemporary art, Prague, Praha, Czech Republic, fotoeins.com

Zátopek’s Legs (Zátopkovy nohy)

Location: DOX Centre for Contemporary Art, Holešovice.
DPP: Metro C to Nádraží Holešovice; tram 6, 12 to Ortenovo náměstí.

As part of the “All Hail Sport” temporary exhibition at DOX, Cerny’s sculpture of a lower torso with legs in running motion directly references (Emil) Zátopek. He was perhaps one of the finest Olympians and Czechs about whom people have rarely or never heard.

David Cerny, sculpture, contemporary art, Prague, Praha, Czech Republic, fotoeins.com

Photo: 7 November 2016.


Click on the arrow-window icon in the upper-left corner of the map below for the legend.

More: jedno, dvĕ, tři, čtyři, pĕt.

I made all photos and short video clips on multiple visits to Prague in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2013, and 2016. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotografie at fotoeins.com as http://wp.me/p1BIdT-3D9.

OEBB, ÖBB, Bombardier, Lermoos, Tirol, Tyrol, Austria, Österreich, Oesterreich

Looking ahead to Austria

(The abbreviated English version appears below.)

Ich hab’ früher meine österreichische Reise erklärt. Diesen Monat führ’ ich eine informelle Umfrage durch:

  1. Wie viele Österreicher kennen (oder ansehen) “The Sound of Music” eigentlich?
  2. Was denken sie an diesen Film?
  3. Was halten sie davon, dass einige Nordamerikaner glauben, dass der Film Österreich teilweise darstellt?

Auch gibt’s Sehenswürdigkeiten in Österreich wie folgt:

INNSBRUCK:

  • Die modernste “Ynnsbrugg”; d.h., der Ort der allersten Brücke über den Inn
  • Hafelekar (Nordkette)
  • Zaha Hadid, ihre architektonische Erbe
  • Ausflug nach Hall
  • Ausflug nach Brenner
  • Ausflug nach Alpbach: auf der Suche nach Erwin-Schrödingers Grabstelle
  • Ausflug nach Scharnitz
  • Ausflug nach Stubaital
  • Tagesausflug nach Wilder Kaiser

SALZBURG:

  • Mozarts-Wohnhaus
  • Christian-Dopplers Geburtshaus
  • Mönchsberg, zwischen Hohensalzburg und Humboldt-Terrasse
  • Sebastiansfriedhof
  • Petersfriedhof
  • Walk of Modern Art; insb. “Spirit of Mozart” von Marina Abramovic
  • Ausflug nach Hallein
  • Ausflug nach Oberndorf
  • Tagesausflug nach Hallstatt
  • Tagesausflug nach Berchtesgaden (DE); auch Ramsau, Kehlstein

WIEN, minimum:

  • Österreichische Postsparkasse
  • Karlsplatz-Pavilion
  • Kirche am Steinhof
  • Wagner-Gebäude, Linke Wienzeile
  • Hofpavilion, U-Bhf Hietzing
  • Wiener (Wagners) Stadtbahn
  • Auf der Spur Lise Meitner
  • Ringstrasse um die Altstadt
  • Schöner Brunnen, von dem der Name “Schönbrunn” stammt
  • Zentralfriedhof: u.a., nämlich Ludwig-Boltzmanns Grabstelle
  • Hietzinger Friedhof
  • Jüdisches Wien
  • MAK Museum: auf der Spur Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky
  • “Art in the Subway”: z.B., “pi” (π) von Ken Lum in U-Bhf Karlsplatz
  • Meidlinger Markt
  • Trześniewski: Wiener Esstradition seit 1902
  • 1 Café: z.B., Café Korb
  • 1 Beisl: z.B., Rudis Beisl
  • 1 Heurige: z.B., Schübel-Auer
  • Tagesausflug nach Bratislava (SK)

WIEN, MöGLICHKEITEN:

  • St. Marxer Friedhof
  • Nussdorf Wehr
  • Wagner-Villa
  • Beethoven Museum, im Vorgriff auf BTHVN 2020
  • Beethovens-Wohnhaus, in dem er seine 9. Symphonie komponierte
  • Ballgasse (bei Nacht)
  • Franziskerplatz (bei Nacht)
  • Deutschordenhaus
  • Fillgraderstiege (bei Nacht)
  • Strudlhofstiege (bei Nacht)
  • Zaha-Hadid-Haus (Spittelau Viaducts Housing Project)
  • Gasometer
  • Westlicht und Ostlicht
  • Globenmuseum
  • Viktor-Adler-Markt
  • Hauptbücherei am Gürtel
  • Friedhof der Namenlosen
  • Grinzinger Friedhof
  • Friedhof Ober St. Veit
  • Am Himmel (Döbling)
  • Wotrubakirche (Mauer)

I described my upcoming time in Austria in a previous post. While in country, I’ll carry out an informal poll:

  1. How many Austrians know or have seen “The Sound of Music”?
  2. What do they think about the movie?
  3. What do they think about how some North Americans believe the film represents in part Austria?

The 4 lists above describe places and sights to which I’m looking forward to visiting, all made easier with a Eurail 2-country pass.

The image is from ÖBB and courtesy of Bombardier. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotografie at fotoeins.com at https://wp.me/p1BIdT-bQT.

Neues Rathaus, Marienplatz, Frauenkirche, Peterskirche, München, Munich, Bavaria, Bayern, Germany, fotoeins.com

Fotoeins Friday: From Peterskirche to Marienplatz in Munich

Munich provides good urban views with the correct “sun angle”. On a brisk late-autumn morning, I’ve handed over the price of admission and climbed the stairs towards the top of the Peterskiche (Church of St. Peter). In the picture above facing north, the twin rounded towers of the Frauenkirche and the Neues Rathaus (New City Hall) appear at left and right, respectively. At centre in the background is the Olympiaturm (Olympic Tower) in Olympic Park.

I made the picture above on 16 November 2015 with the Canon 6D, 24-105 glass, and the following settings: 1/250-sec, f/16, ISO400, and 24-mm focal length. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotografie at fotoeins.com as https://wp.me/p1BIdT-bzI.

Counting year 18 in Germany with an accent on Austria

Above: Vienna’s streetcar route 5, with a historical vehicle leaving Praterstern for Westbahnhof (Kurt Rasmussen, Wiki).

With two-country Eurail pass in hand, I’m in Germany for the 18th consecutive year. However, my emphasis throughout May will be in Austria. While my extended time in Austria is primarily divided among Innsbruck, Salzburg, and Vienna, I have multiple side-excursions, many of which will involve chasing good spring light and “(wide) pictures in the green.” I doubt I’ll adopt an Austrian accent to my spoken German, but stranger things have happened …

Noticeable below is no mention of Salzburg’s “The Sound of Music”, for which many Austrians have little awareness or knowledge as residents do not consider the film representative of people or country, and about which others online have already described. My interests in Austria lie elsewhere: they lie in my ability and advantage to speak German; the culture of bistros, cafés, and wine taverns; border crossings wiped out by Schengen; Jewish history; Jugendstil and Secession; salt mines; science; and urban art.

2018 is the European Year of Cultural Heritage and is also the year of Vienna Modernism, marking the 100th anniversary year of the deaths of Gustav Klimt, Koloman Moser, Egon Schiele, and Otto Wagner.

( Click here for more )

Maschkera, Fosnocht, Fasching, Mittenwald, Bavaria, Bayern, Germany, fotoeins.com

Fasching, Maschkera, Oimrausch: pre-Lent shenanigans in southern Germany

This ain’t no Hallowe’en*.

This is Fasching and Maschkera in southern Germany. It’s also about about distinctions and differences by comparison with Karneval on the Rhein.

Festivities take place before Catholic Lent, and the key idea behind the wild colourful costumes and wooden masks is the very pagan origin and ritual of driving out or driving away evil spirits of winter lurking inside people and their homes and welcoming the friendly spirits of spring for a productive growing season.

( Click here for more )

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