ENTROPA - Dave Cerny - PICTURES - Atom Bomb in Art
Černý's mosaic in Brussels reveals Prophet MohammedLEGO was invented in Denmark. The cartoons intended to piss off the whole arab world were published in Denmark's crappy yellow-press corporate whore newspapers, now here is an artist that combines what Denmark is famous for.
Černý´s mosaic is to be officially opened on Thursday January 15. The 27 artists representing each member state were originally supposed to be present at the grand opening.
In an interview for Aktuálně.cz David Černý declined to speculate it is a carricature of Prophet Mohammed. But Danish journalists from Ritzau press agency saw the artwork and wrote that "it bears a similarity to Mohammed to say the least".
BBC's Mark Mardell saw the same similarity in his blog: "There is no clue in the angled picture in the brochure, but TV and still pictures of the design do look at a distance rather like one of the infamous Danish cartoons of Mohammed."
Czech Deputy PM for EU Affairs Alexandr Vondra said that "in today's Europe there is no place for censorship".
EU Presidency Czech hoax art raises offence
Czech sculptor David Cerny has seriously upset national sensitivities in Europe with a hoax artwork hung in Brussels and commissioned to mark the Czech Republic’s EU presidency.
Tweaking stereotypes, this was supposed to be a common work of artists from all the EU states.
euronews was among those who fell for it.
Cerny has admitted he did it with a couple of friends, made up a bunch of names, and then waited to see if Europe could laugh at itself.
Sofia is not laughing. The art installation named ‘Entropa’ represents Bulgaria with several figures urinating. The Bulgarians made an official complaint.
Prague says it will announce what to do with the offending object tomorrow. That leaves a little more time for passers by in the heart of EU institutional territory to test their sense of humour.
The Netherlands is shown as under water, with only minarets breaking the surface.
A new art installation going on display at the European Council building in Brussels has angered EU members with its lampoons of national stereotypes.
Entropa portrays Bulgaria as a toilet, Romania as a Dracula theme-park and France as a country on strike.
The Czech Republic, which holds the EU presidency, thought it had commissioned work from 27 European artists.
But it turned out to have been entirely completed by Czech artist David Cerny and two associates.
The eight-tonne mosaic is held together by snap-out plastic parts similar to those used in modelling kits.
The Netherlands is shown as series of minarets submerged by a flood - a possible reference to the nation's simmering religious tensions.
Germany is shown as a network of motorways vaguely resembling a swastika, while the UK - criticised by some for being one of EU's most eurosceptic members - is absent from Europe altogether.
The 16-square-metre (172-square-foot) work was installed at the weekend to mark the start of the six-month Czech presidency of the EU.
There has already been an angry reaction to the piece from Bulgaria, which has summoned the Czech ambassador to Sofia to explain.
The three artists responsible for Entropa were led by David Cerny who, says the BBC's Rob Cameron in Prague, is the enfant terrible of the Czech art world.
Turkish standing-up toilet Bulgaria
When his government commissioned him to create the installation, several eyebrows were raised, and they were not raised in vain, our correspondent adds.
Czech Deputy Prime Minister Alexandr Vondra said he was only informed on Monday that the installation was not the work of 27 European artists, but David Cerny and two colleagues.
Mr Vondra condemned Mr Cerny and said the Czech EU presidency was considering what steps to take before Thursday's official launch.
"An agreement of the office of the government with the artist clearly stated that this will be a common work of artists from 27 EU states," he said.
"The full responsibility for violating this assignment and this promise lies with David Cerny."
Mr Cerny, who presented Entropa to his government with a brochure describing each of the artwork's 27 supposed contributors from each member state, has apologised for misleading ministers, but not for the installation itself.
"We knew the truth would come out," said Mr Cerny. "But before that we wanted to find out if Europe is able to laugh at itself."
He added that Entropa "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".
Mr Cerny first created a splash in the early 1990s when he painted a Soviet tank, a Second World War memorial in a Prague square, bright pink.
The eight-tonne mosaic depicts France as a nation on strike.
Entropa portrays Romania as a theme-park-styled Dracula's castle.
Luxembourg is depicted as a small lump of gold for sale.
Italy is seen as a massive football pitch, suggesting a nation with a fetish for football.
Some players are animated, wanking and simulating injury.
The depiction of Bulgaria comprises a series of squat toilets
The Netherlands is seen as series of minarets submerged by a flood - a possible reference to the nation's simmering religious tensions
The 16-sq-m (172-sq-ft) work portrays Germany as a network of motorways somewhat resembling a swastika. The cars are moving, animated
Denmark The artist built an image of the Prophet Mohammad out of Lego - he will hope to attract less controversy and violence than the infamous Danish cartoons
Spain was shown as a concreted-over wastelandt with a nuclear bomb in the Basque region,
a play on the US nuclear warheads that were lost in spain.
H-BOMB LOST IN SPAIN: January 17, 1966; Broken Arrows Incident
an estimated 50 nuclear warheads still lie on the bottom of the world's oceans, according to Joshua Handler, a former research coordinator for the environmental activist organization Greenpeace
H-BOMB LOST IN SPAIN: January 17, 1966
THIS DAY IN HISTORY newsletter; THE HISTORY CHANNEL
"On this day, a B-52 bomber collides with KC-135 jet tanker over Spain's Mediterranean coast, dropping three 70-kiloton hydrogen bombs near the town of Palomares and one in the sea. It was not the first or last accident involving American nuclear bombs. As a means of maintaining first-strike capability during the Cold War, U.S. bombers laden with nuclear weapons circled the earth ceaselessly for decades. In a military operation of this magnitude, it was inevitable that accidents would occur. The Pentagon admits to more than three-dozen accidents in which bombers either crashed or caught fire on the runway, resulting in nuclear contamination from a damaged or destroyed bomb and/or the loss of a nuclear weapon. One of the only "Broken Arrows" to receive widespread publicity occurred on January 17, 1966, when a B-52 bomber crashed into a KC-135 jet tanker over Spain. The bomber was returning to its North Carolina base following a routine airborne alert mission along the southern route of the Strategic Air Command when it attempted to refuel with a jet tanker. The B-52 collided with the fueling boom of the tanker, ripping the bomber open and igniting the fuel. The KC-135 exploded, killing all four of its crew members, but four members of the seven-man B-52 crew managed to parachute to safety. None of the bombs were armed, but explosive material in two of the bombs that fell to earth exploded upon impact, forming craters and scattering radioactive plutonium over the fields of Palomares. A third bomb landed in a dry riverbed and was recovered relatively intact. The fourth bomb fell into the sea at an unknown location. Palomares, a remote fishing and farming community, was soon filled with nearly 2,000 U.S. military personnel and Spanish civil guards who rushed to clean up the debris and decontaminate the area. The U.S. personnel took precautions to prevent overexposure to the radiation, but the Spanish workers, who lived in a country that lacked experience with nuclear technology, did not. Eventually some 1,400 tons of radioactive soil and vegetation were shipped to the United States for disposal. Meanwhile, at sea, 33 U.S. Navy vessels were involved in the search for the lost hydrogen bomb. Using an IBM computer, experts tried to calculate where the bomb might have landed, but the impact area was still too large for an effective search. Finally, an eyewitness account by a Spanish fisherman led the investigators to a one-mile area. On March 15, a submarine spotted the bomb, and on April 7 it was recovered. It was damaged but intact. Studies on the effects of the nuclear accident on the people of Palomares was limited, but the United States eventually settled some 500 claims by residents whose health was adversely affected. Because the accident happened in a foreign country, it received far more publicity than did the dozen or so similar crashes that occurred within U.S. borders. As a security measure, U.S. authorities do not announce nuclear weapons accidents, and some American citizens may have unknowingly been exposed to radiation that resulted from aircraft crashes and emergency bomb jettisons. Today, two hydrogen bombs and a uranium core lie in yet undetermined locations in the Wassaw Sound off Georgia, in the Puget Sound off Washington, and in swamplands near Goldsboro, North Carolina."
By Bruce Kennedy, CNN Interactive. "The concept itself is terrifying, even hypothetically. A nuclear weapon, lost, stolen or accidentally destroyed -- endangering thousands, perhaps millions of lives. "Broken Arrows," as the U.S. military calls such worst-case scenarios, have been plot devices in action movies and spy novels. But the reality, as reflected in today's headlines, sometimes makes such fiction pale in comparison. Scores of accidents involving nuclear reactors and weapons have occurred worldwide since the Nuclear Age began in 1945. And an estimated 50 nuclear warheads still lie on the bottom of the world's oceans, according to Joshua Handler, a former research coordinator for the environmental activist organization Greenpeace."...
By Chuck Hansen, November/December 2000 pp. 64-66 (vol. 56, no. 06), Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists ..."The 1981 list included accidents that fell into two categories: those that had been publicly disclosed when they occurred, and those in which radioactive fallout spread beyond the limits of a military base, either within the United States or in a foreign country. When radioactive contamination did not extend beyond a military base, the incident that caused the contamination was probably not publicly announced. Of the incidents listed in the 1981 paper, at least seven were not made public when they happened and several had not been previously disclosed. In only 14 cases had Defense revealed at the time of the incident that nuclear weapons were involved. At least a few government officials were better informed: As reported by Shaun Gregory in his 1990 book The Hidden Cost of Deterrence: Nuclear Weapons Accidents, President John F. Kennedy was briefed in 1961 on more than 60 U.S. nuclear weapons accidents that had occurred since the end of World War II, including two instances in which "nuclear-tipped anti-aircraft missiles" were inadvertently launched. By January 1968, Defense had publicly announced only 13 major aircraft accidents between 1958 and 1968 that involved nuclear weapons. The May 1981 accident list expanded that total to 32, including 27 aircraft accidents, one loss of a submarine, three missile incidents, and one explosion at a storage facility. Still, the 1981 list, an apparently ad hoc compilation, just barely scratched the surface. Other privately generated and official government reports put the U.S. nuclear weapons accident/incident total well above 32. A 1989 Greenpeace publication lists a total of 383 nuclear weapons involved in navy incidents between 1965 and 1977, and a 1985 General Accounting Office study noted that the navy had reported 233 incidents involving nuclear weapons between 1965 and 1983. A 1973 Sandia Laboratories report, citing a then-classified army compilation, stated that between 1950 and 1968, a total of 1,250 U.S. nuclear weapons were involved in accidents or incidents of varying severity, including 272 (22 percent) in circumstances involving impacts which, in several instances, caused the detonation of the weapon's conventional high explosives. (All percentages are rounded to the nearest whole number.) Of these 272 weapons, 107 bombs or rockets were unintentionally dropped during storage, assembly, or loading (39 percent); 48 warheads mated to missiles or re-entry vehicles were involved in handling drops and accidents on pads or in silos (18 percent); 41 bombs or warheads were aboard aircraft that crashed (15 percent); 26 warheads in containers were in accidents that occurred during storage, assembly, or loading (10 percent); 24 weapons were jettisoned or inadvertently released from aircraft or ships (9 percent); 22 weapons and warhead assemblies were involved in ground transportation crashes (8 percent); and four weapons were accidentally crushed or punctured (1.5 percent). Despite these revelations, Defense has yet to update or re-issue its 1981 paper in a more complete or exhaustive form. Some Cold War weapons-handling practices were particularly accident prone. At least one procedure, a missile warhead "recycle" or "yo-yo," involved the temporary removal of a missile re-entry vehicle to allow servicing of parts in both the warhead and the missile; the two could not be serviced while they were mated. This was a more complicated and inherently more risky procedure than a simple bomb upload or download. It is probable that at least a few of the 48 missile-warhead handling accidents cited in the 1973 Sandia study occurred during "yo-yo" procedures. Since 1988, I have assembled details of 96 U.S. nuclear weapons accidents and incidents, ranging in severity from gouges in external casings to fires and high explosive detonations. While most information about accidents and incidents other than the 32 officially disclosed cases has come from recently declassified congressional documents, there are other sources--a handful of books about U.S. nuclear weapons accidents and a February 1991 Environmental Protection Agency study which listed radioactively contaminated sites, including some sites where air force bombers had crashed."...
Atomic Archive: Nuclear Almanac: Broken Arrows: Nuclear Weapons Accidents
Wikipedia: United States military nuclear incident terminology
Global Security: Broken Arrows
CNN Interactive: Cold War: The Bomb: Broken Arrows and Bent Spears
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists: The oops list
you have also lost one in the Savannah River, Georgia.
February 5, 1958, Savannah River, Georgia
A nuclear weapon without a fissile core was lost following a mid-air collision. A B-47 bomber carrying a nuclear weapon without its fissile core collided with a F-86 aircraft near Savannah, Georgia. Following three unsuccessful attempts to land the plane at Hunter Air Force Base in Georgia, the weapon was jettisoned to avoid the risk of a high explosive detonation at the base. The weapon was jettisoned into the water several miles from the mouth of Savannah River in Wassaw Sound off Tybee Beach, but the precise point of impact is unknown. The weapon's high explosives did not detonate on impact. A subsequent search covering three square miles used divers and sonar devices, but failed to find the weapon. The search was ended on April 16, 1958, and the weapon was considered to be irretrievably lost.
The United States abandoned a nuclear weapon beneath the ice in northern Greenland following a crash in 1968, a BBC investigation has found.
Its unique vantage point - perched at the top of the world - has meant that Thule Air Base has been of immense strategic importance to the US since it was built in the early 1950s, allowing a radar to scan the skies for missiles coming over the North Pole.
The Pentagon believed the Soviet Union would take out the base as a prelude to a nuclear strike against the US and so in 1960 began flying "Chrome Dome" missions. Nuclear-armed B52 bombers continuously circled over Thule - and could head straight to Moscow if they witnessed its destruction.
Greenland is a self-governing province of Denmark but the carrying of nuclear weapons over Danish territory was kept secret.
But on 21 January 1968, one of those missions went wrong.
We reunited two of the pilots, John Haug and Joe D'Amario, 40 years on to tell the story of how their plane ended up crashing on the ice a few miles out from the base.
In the aftermath, military personnel, local Greenlanders and Danish workers rushed to the scene to help.
Eventually, a remarkable operation would unfold over the coming months to recover thousands of tiny pieces of debris scattered across the frozen bay, as well as to collect some 500 million gallons of ice, some of it containing radioactive debris.
A declassified US government video, obtained by the BBC, documents the clear-up and gives some ideas of the scale of the operation.
The high explosives surrounding the four nuclear weapons had detonated but without setting off the actual nuclear devices, which had not been armed by the crew.
The Pentagon maintained that all four weapons had been "destroyed".
This may be technically true, since the bombs were no longer complete, but declassified documents obtained by the BBC under the US Freedom of Information Act, parts of which remain classified, reveal a much darker story, which has been confirmed by individuals involved in the clear-up and those who have had access to details since.
The documents make clear that within weeks of the incident, investigators piecing together the fragments realised that only three of the weapons could be accounted for.
Even by the end of January, one document talks of a blackened section of ice which had re-frozen with shroud lines from a weapon parachute. "Speculate something melted through ice such as burning primary or secondary," the document reads, the primary or secondary referring to parts of the weapon.
By April, a decision had been taken to send a Star III submarine to the base to look for the lost bomb, which had the serial number 78252. (A similar submarine search off the coast of Spain two years earlier had led to another weapon being recovered.)
But the real purpose of this search was deliberately hidden from Danish officials.
One document from July reads: "Fact that this operation includes search for object or missing weapon part is to be treated as confidential NOFORN", the last word meaning not to be disclosed to any foreign country.
"For discussion with Danes, this operation should be referred to as a survey repeat survey of bottom under impact point," it continued.
But the underwater search was beset by technical problems and, as winter encroached and the ice began to freeze over, the documents recount something approaching panic setting in.
As well as the fact they contained uranium and plutonium, the abandoned weapons parts were highly sensitive because of the way in which the design, shape and amount of uranium revealed classified elements of nuclear warhead design.
But eventually, the search was abandoned. Diagrams and notes included in the declassified documents make clear it was not possible to search the entire area where debris from the crash had spread.
We tracked down a number of officials who were involved in dealing with the aftermath of the incident.
One was William H Chambers, a former nuclear weapons designer at the Los Alamos nuclear laboratory who once ran a team dealing with accidents, including the Thule crash.
"There was disappointment in what you might call a failure to return all of the components," he told the BBC, explaining the logic behind the decision to abandon the search.
"It would be very difficult for anyone else to recover classified pieces if we couldn't find them."
The view was that no-one else would be able covertly to acquire the sensitive pieces and that the radioactive material would dissolve in such a large body of water, making it harmless.
Other officials who have seen classified files on the accident confirmed the abandonment of a weapon.
The Pentagon declined to comment on the investigation, referring back to previous official studies of the incident.But the crash, clear-up and mystery of the lost bomb have continued to haunt those involved at the time - and those who live in the region now - with continued concerns over the environmental and health impact of the events of that day in 1968.
Kristof Kintera and Tomas Pospiszyl
Statement by the artist:
written by Peter, January 14, 2009
Europe is unified by its history, cultureand, in recent years, also by a jointly created political structure. More or less diverse countries are intertwined by a network of multi-dimensional relationships that, in effect, results in an intricate whole. From within,we tend to focus on the differences between the individual European countries. These differences include thousands of important and unimportant things ranging from geographical situation to gastronomy and everyday habits.
The EU puzzle is both a metaphor and a celebration of this diversity. It comprises the building blocks of the political, economic and culturalrelationships with which we 'toy' but which will be passed on to our children. The task of today is to create building blocks with the best possible characteristics.
Self-reflection, critical thinking and the capacity to perceive oneself aswell as the outside world with a senseof imny are the hallmarks of European thinking. This art project that originated on the occasion of Czech Presidency of the Council of the European Union attempts to present Europe as a whole from the perspectives of 27artists from the individual EU Member States. Their projects share the playful analysis of national stereotypes as well as original characteristics of the individual cultural identities.
That much is stated in an official booklet of the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs. However Entropa is not a real pan-European work by artists-provocateurs, but a mystification. At first glance, it looks like a project to decorate official space, which has degenerated to an unhindered display of national traumas and complexes. Individual states in the European Union puzzle are presented by non-existent artists. They have their names, artificially created identities, and some have their own Web sites. Each of them is the author of a text explaining their motivation to take part in the common project. That all was created by David Cerny, Kristof Kintera and Tomas Pospiszyl, with the help of a large team of colleagues from the Czech Republic and abroad.
The original intention was indeed to ask 27 European artists for participation. But it became apparent that this plan cannot be realised, due to time, production, and financial constraints. The team therefore, without the knowledge of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, decided to create fictitious artists who would represent various European national and artistic stereotypes. We apologise to Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek, Deputy Prime Minister Alexandr Vondra, Minister Karel Schwarzenberg and their departments that we did not inform them of the true state of affairs and thus misguided them. We did not want them to bear the responsibility for this kind of politically incorrect satire. We knew the truth would come out. But before that we wanted to find out if Europe is able to laugh at itself.
At the beginning stood the question: What do we really know about Europe? We have information about some states, we only know various tourist clichés about others. We know basically nothing about several of them. The art works, by artificially constructed artists from the 27 EU countries, show how difficult and fragmented Europe as a whole can seem from the perspective of the Czech Republic. We do not want to insult anybody, just point at the difficulty of communication without having the ability of being ironic.
Grotesque hyperbole and mystification belongs among the trademarks of Czech culture and creating false identities is one of the strategies of contemporary art. The images of individual parts of Entropa use artistic techniques often characterised by provocation. The piece thus also 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. We believe that the environment of Brussels is capable of ironic self-reflection, we believe in the sense of humour of European nations and their representatives.
Revolution by Kristof Kintera