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The Warsaw Voice » Culture » July 2, 2010
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Cerny Fails to Shock With Golem
July 2, 2010   
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In Jewish folklore, a golem is an animate but soulless clay humanoid figure. The one that has appeared in Poznań is made of multiple openwork steel straps. This two-and-a-bit meter striding figure is the work of renowned and provocative Czech sculptor David Cerny. Cerny’s sculptures are at once shocking and entertaining. They include former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein swimming in formaldehyde clad in just his underpants, and St. Wenceslaus, patron saint of the Czech Republic, mounted on the stomach of a dead horse hanging upside down from the ceiling.

But Cerny’s Poznań golem fails to either amuse or provoke. In fact, it is almost “polite.” The sculpture has been placed between the bushes out front of the National Museum in Poznań on Niepodległo¶ci Avenue and is hard to spot among all the greenery. It was to have been more conspicuous but the powers that be at City Hall deemed that a golem ought not stand out let alone be an obstruction.

The Wielkopolska Fine Art Association, which commissioned the work, is pushing for the striding golem to be moved to the middle of the pathway where it will be more prominent and make an impression on passers-by walking among the trees.

Cerny was his provocative old self at Poznań’s Arsenał gallery in May when his Smallness exhibition displayed 300 tiny copies of his sculptures and installations.
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