In trying to help out with this thread, I came across this terribly confusing sculpture of “Good King Wenceslas” riding the belly of a horse which is suspended by its hooves. I suppose it’s meant to be cartoonish, but the poor horse!
Can anyone explain to me the significance of the good king riding his horse upside down? Is there some legend or story connected with it?
Scroll down a bit, you’ll know it when you see it:
If it’s from 1999, I would assume it represents the end of the Communist regime.
You’ve heard the expression “flogging a dead horse”? That’s what people like Gorbachev were doing when they tried to save the rotten Communist system.
The king being astride it symbolizes his overcoming it. IMHO.
Not coincidentally, the leader of the Velvet Revolution and the first president of the Czech Republic was Václav (Wenceslas) Havel.
The artist is David Czerny, who is known for surreal and bizarre installations.
And he’s not offering any explanation here (according to Atlas Obscura).
Fascinating and a little medieval torture-y, somehow. Like there’s some hidden Saint’s story about being tortured for faith involving a horse used that way. Squick-ish.
He got Wenceslas mixed up with Catherine the Great?
(No, no, no need. I’ll show myself out.)