Against the censorship of David Cerny's "Entropa"
Gdansk / Warszawa, 26.01.2009 To: President of Bulgaria, Mr. Georgi Parvanov Bulgarian Prime Minister, Mr. Sergei Stanishev Bulgarian Minister of Culture, Mr. Stefan Danailov For the attention of: Mr. David Černý Czech Deputy Prime Minister for EU Affairs, Mr. Alexandr Vondra OPEN LETTER to Bulgarian authorities We, the undersigned, are deeply concerned about your decision to cover the piece “Turkish toilet” of David Černý's sculpture “Entropa. Stereotypes are barriers to be demolished” launched on 15 January 2009 in the Council of the European Union. The demand to curtain the part of the integral artistic installation with a black fabric is nothing else than the act of censorship directed against the Art. 27 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Art. 23 of the Constitution of the Republic of Bulgaria, which guarantees that “the State shall establish conditions conducive to the free development of science, education and the arts, and shall assist that development”. Europe lacks critical reflection on controversial topics. The real debate respecting opposing voices from different cultures, mentalities and ambitions has disappeared from political agendas. Therefore, we strongly support David Černý's right to his provocative voice, which opens the debate on our intern European problems (poverty, discrimination, corruption etc.). We should not kill the essence of “Entropa” by hysterical reactions or hypocritical gestures of national pride. We are appealing to You to remove the black fabric from the “Entropa” and join the broad debate about real European problems. David Černý's self-irony and the famous Czech sense of humour might be of great help. As he has proved with “Entropa”, art has the power to provoke serious discussion and reactions, which reveal a lot of hidden mechanisms in contemporary art practice, media and power strategies. Czech Deputy Prime Minister Alexandr Vondra declared on the “Entropa” launching: “twenty years after the fall of the Iron Curtain there is no place for censorship in Europe.” And we hope we will be able to see his words come true. Sincerely, Indeks 73, Polish initiative aimed at protecting freedom of artistic expression: Izabela Kowalczyk, PhD. (art critic and theoretician, WSHiD Poznan), Agnieszka Kaim (social activist, Kultura Miejska Gdansk), Lidia Makowska (art and social activist, Kultura Miejska Gdansk), Ewa Majewska, PhD. (philosopher, Gender Studies Uniwersytet Warszawski), Daniel Muzyczuk (art historian, curator, Contemporary Art Centre Torun), Jacek Niegoda (artist), Roman Pawłowski (journalist, theatre critic, Gazeta Wyborcza Warszawa)