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David Černý | QUO VADIS | Walter-Benjamin-Platz | 07.11.2019

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David Černý is considered one of the most provocative contemporary artists in the Czech Republic. On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, his sculpture QUO VADIS (from November 7th 2019) will be shown at Walter-Benjamin-Platz near Kurfürstendamm.

Image above: David Černý, QUO VADIS, Courtesy of David Černý

The sculpture QUO VADIS David Černý, a running Trabi, stands as a symbol for the refugees from the former GDR. It is usually located in the German Embassy in Prague, where Hans-Dietrich Genscher gave the speech on the turn of German history in the autumn of 1989. The Trabi managed to bring the refugees of the former GDR across the borders into freedom. Many had to leave their own Trabant behind on the run without knowing where the journey was going: “Quo Vadis”.

DEEDS NEWS -Courtesy-of-David-Cerny-Portrait
David Černý , Portrait, Courtesy of David Černý

The Czech artist David Černý was born in 1967 in Prague, where he studied at the Academy of Art, Architecture and Design. After a stay in the USA, he returned to Prague, where he now lives and works. In 2001 he founded a non-profit cultural, art and event centre in a glass department store dating from the 1920s. The centre is called “Meet Factory” and includes a theatre, music stage and 16 studios for a total of 30 international artists. With his delight in language games and cynical word similarities, Černý calls his Factory a “multicultural supermarket”. 

With his sculptures, David likes to provoke political events at Černý and thus triggers controversial debates. His career began after he painted Rosa, a Russian tank exhibited as a war memorial in Prague in 1991, which stood for Prague’s liberation by the Red Army. Černý was imprisoned for a few days. In his hometown of Prague, Černý has installed 14 installations in public space that have become attractions to this day.  Among his most famous works are Quo Vadis, Entropa, Babies, Piss, London Booster, Head of Kafka, Shark, Metalmorphosis and Man Hanging Out.

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Installations by David Černý, Courtesy of David Černý

More about David’s installations Černý in this short article “David Černý – Meister der Provokation” on ARTE (no longer online):


The Berlin company KAURI CAB is bringing the QUO VADIS sculpture to Berlin on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. It will be exhibited on Walter-Benjamin-Platz in Berlin on the occasion of the anniversary. The inauguration will take place on 7 November at 5 pm in the presence of the artist David Černý, the initiator Hagen Kahmann, guests and contemporary witnesses. The Berlin opera singer Nadja Michael, who will also be present at the ceremonial handover of the sculpture, was one of the refugees.

Hagen Kahmann, Managing Director of the KAURI CAB Group, is the initiator and patron of the event. On the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the KAURI CAB company, he would like to give something back to the city and let Berlin’s citizens participate in this cultural highlight. KAURI CAB project developer, investor and asset manager in Berlin/Brandenburg, supports many of the city’s cultural projects, including the German Drama Award for Young Talent, and initiated the cultural use of the “Kornversuchsspeicher” as part of his construction project on Heidestraße.


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