It’s something of a shame that the International Olympic Committee doesn’t run a little side competition for the most absurdly brilliant work of art inspired by the world’s biggest sports fest, for if it did, Czech artist David Cerny may well take the gold.
Cerny’s striking work, called ‘London Boosted’, involves one of the city’s iconic double-decker buses doing push-ups with the aid of giant robotic arms. That’s right, a double-decker bus doing push-ups. And if that isn’t already enough to make you think, “Perhaps this guy should take a long lie down,” then how about this – as the bus undertakes its fitness routine, it can be heard groaning in agony with all the effort it takes.
With the bus weighing a hefty six tons, Cerny had to power the huge mechanical arms with an electrical engine to get it off the ground.
“There is one common exercise for every sportsman around the world and that is push-ups, so I thought the push-up would be perfect fun,” Cerny said of his piece. “It is training for sport activities but at the same time it is also punishment in armies and prisons. So the push-ups are a very universal physical activity…It is in a way very ironic.”
Cerny bought the 1957 Routemaster bus – the kind where you could jump on and off while it was still moving and which until just a few years ago was still a common sight on London’s streets – from an owner in the Netherlands.
If you happen to be in the capital in the coming weeks and fancy taking a look at a robotic bus doing push-ups, you’ll find it exercising away outside the Business Design Centre in Islington, where a large Czech cultural event is taking place for the duration of the Games.