Artist Kurt Gebauer has installed a new sculpture at Victory Square in Prague 6 dubbed the ‘Early Capitalism Caterpillar’. The art installation is 11 meters tall.
The sculpture was conceptualized by Gebauer in 1997 but had no financial backup for its installation.
During the communist era, a statue of Lenin stood in place of where the sculpture is now. That statue has since been torn down after the revolution.
“That was supposed to be the joke that the Caterpillar of early capitalism would be where Lenin stood. Even then, it was supposed to provoke a discussion about the state of society. What will this capitalism become? Everything will be eaten or a beautiful butterfly will hatch…,” Gebauer commented.
The sculpture had been installed in numerous places around Prague. Previously in Wenceslas Square, and most recently in front of the Trade Fair Palace, it has now finally reached the initial designated location it was supposed to be on from conception.
The sculpture caused quite a stir and there was a heated debate on the city district’s Facebook page about its installation. Many of the public were quite interested in the price for its installation. Reportedly, it cost the state around 39,000 CZK to install it.
The public has made numerous snide remarks. Most have stated that it reminds them of a condom, while others sarcastically ask if the work is finished or is yet to be completed.
However, the author himself more than welcomes such a discussion of his controversial work. “The work is supposed to be controversial and provoke discussion. It compensates for aggression and human effort to attack something all the time. Now people can argue about whether it’s nice or ugly, whether it couldn’t have been bigger or smaller, or if it’s from a good artist or not – and that’s the way it’s supposed to be,” says Kurt Gebauer.