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Prague, Czechia

Proudy

This automated sculpture of two men peeing will spell out text messages with their micturition. 

Artist David Cerny’s controversial sculpture, Proudy, consists of two bronze men who robotically waggle their metal junk around to spell out text messages with their pee.  

Installed in 2004 in a quaint square outside Prague’s Franz Kafka Museum, the statue immediately made waves, so to speak. The figures are made of rippling, serrated bronze, looking as though they were crafted from stacked slices of metal, or like they were crudely 3D printed. This design choice works to integrate the swiveling crotch sections of the two men. Each of the figures is holding their bronze penis and peeing in a never-ending stream, swirling it around in a seemingly random, if surprisingly fluid (pun intended), pattern. But there is a method to their madness, as the figures are programmed to spell out Czech literary quotes with their pee streams, as though they were writing their name in the snow. And that’s not all.

In fact anyone in the world can interrupt their constant quotes by sending their own message via text message to a number (+420 724 370 770) on a plaque near the statue.  The statues will interrupt their programmed movement and spell out the words sent to them.

While it might be hard to look away from the swaying metal genitals, the basin the figures relieve themselves into is itself worth noting, as it is shaped like a map of Czechia. These guys aren’t just peeing into a fountain, but onto the country itself. Provocation achieved.