Looking back at the 2012 London Olympics, a red 'push-up' double-decker bus was the national team’s symbol at the Czech Olympic headquarters in London. Fast forward four years to the 2016 Rio Olympics, the very same creator, David Černý has taken centre stage with his latest Olympic art installation. The one hundred pairs of mechanical legs of four-time Olympic gold medal winner Emil Zátopek are on display in various locations in and around Czech HQ in Rio de Janeiro, the Olympic Park in Lipno and Prague’s Olympic Fan Zone in Quadrio.
‘Every Olympic year we are trying to combine art with sport and entertainment. David Černý has once again brought forth an authentically unique concept, which superbly blends the elements of the Czech headquarters in Rio, the Olympic Park in Lipno, and the Fan Zone in Quadrio,‘ said architect Petr Kolář, co-author of the installation.
Emil Zátopek’s long-distance running legacy is accompanying the Czech Olympic team throughout the 2016 Olympic year – specifically in the form of a 1950s stylised comic motif collection. Zátopek‘s resilience and dedication was epitomised in his motto "Still you can" which guided him to four Olympic and three European Championship gold medals.
"The concept of the track came about after a debate with David that Emil’s legs, while hanging from the ceiling, needed somehow to be running somewhere, so we made a running track for them to follow. The installation can be easily associated with the sport while creating a humorously grotesque image at the same time," added Petr Kolář, the author of this element of interior art installations.
As with the success and popularity of the London 2012’s red ‘push-up’ bus with its robotic arms and groaning effort, this year Prague, Rio and Lipno have been recipients of one hundred pairs of beige coloured running legs dressed in shorts and heavy boots. The movement of which is powered by Škoda car electric windscreen wiper motors.
"While the London and Sochi Olympics were influenced by the works of famous Czech painters František Kupka and Alfons Mucha, this year Emil Zátopek is the creative stimulus for artists from different disciplines. I am glad that Zátopek inspired names such as David Ondříček and David Černý," said Jiří Kejval, chairman of the Czech Olympic Committee. The red ‘push-up’ bus in London was a huge international success. "I believe that this year thanks to David Černý’s new installation it can continue the opinion that sport is a great inspiration for all artists."