“Piss” by David Černý

David Černý, the controversial, internationally famous, Czech sculptor who is best known for his giant space-age babies that crawl up the Zizkov TV tower as well as the kinetic Kafka head in Vězeňská, has many other curious pieces scattered throughout Prague. The sculpture of his that I wanted to highlight is one which is entitled “Piss”. This sculpture, located outside of the Kafka Museum in the Lesser Quarter, depicts two figures urinating into a pool shaped as the Czech Republic. The figures move in a very realistic manner as they urinate in what, at first glance, seems to be a random pattern. However, upon further research and inspection, they are actually spelling out quotes from famous political leaders with their stream of urine. This, of course, is a cause of some contrivery, which seems to be the intention of almost all of Černý’s work. To add to the intrigue of this sculpture, viewers can also have their few minutes of fame by sending an SMS message to the number displayed next to the sculpture. The figures will then ‘write’, in the water, the text of the message that was sent, before continuing as before. This is my favorite of all of Černý’s works displayed in Prague and it certainly draws some attention from the little children who are constantly attempting to play with the stream and the moving figures themselves.

Luke McCaffrey

Union College, New York, United States