Circus Cerny is a retrospective of the contemporary art of Czech sculptor David Cerny (Prague 1968).

The starkly monumental pieces are scattered over nine locations in and about de Witte de Withstraat. The Circus will manifest itself in exhibition and public spaces. For example, giant babies inspect the architecture of the Rotterdam disabled organisation, a middle-aged man hangs from a flagpole, a Trabant like a saint walks on water. In TENT. two-meter high guns make the strangest noises.

Circus Cerny is an impressive ouvre of a rebel with a cause.

David Cerny

Although Czech sculptor David Cerny started to make art prior to 1989, his work is largely connected with a spontaneous people‘s festival that broke out after the fall of the Iron Curtain. The city of Prague, in particular, underwent a radical metamorphosis. What was once forbidden was suddenly legal, public space was public once again and art was very aware of its power to communicate with people. Writer Jachym Topol characterized the rapid changes in his post-communist country as a period when time exploded. We can imagine Cerny as one of the designers of this explosion, setting off joyful fireworks all around him. He has exhibited internationally, but remains fond of little pranks and visual puns. In addition to traditional art, in recent years he has become involved with cultural activism, filmmaking and techno music.

Pink Tank

Cerny`s reputation as a creative rebel started off when he decided to paint a Soviet tank baby pink. This particular Soviet tank was a war monument in memory of the Russian liberation of Czechoslovakia from the clutches of Nazi Germany. Cerny’s artistic gesture hit like a bombshell. The nation engaged in heated discussions on the street and in the parliament, while the international press came flocking around the pink phenomenon. Ever since his debut Cerny has continued to fuel the public debate with his provocative art.

Curated by Boris van Berkum

About IRL

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