Anyone standing outside the Czech Olympic Headquarters in north London would expect to hear the sounds of cars driving by, the occasional honking or siren and the murmur of people passing by on the sidewalk. One would not expect to hear the audible and unmistakable sound of groans.
Just a few steps away from the entrance to the Czech Hospitality House sits the creation of Czech artist David Cerny, a red double-decker bus doing push-ups. With large, red mechanical arms the bus, cleverly named “London Boosted,” lifts and lowers itself at a 45-degree angle. Cue the groans.
“It sort of gasps and grunts,” said Englishwoman Victoria Gill. “I think it’s very touristy and I think it’s a bit crass…it encourages me to exercise and walk fast past it because I don’t like it.”
The eye-catching bus with push-up powers is only mimicking what all athletes do on a regular basis. “There is one common exercise for every sportsman in the world,” Cerny told Reuters, “and that is push-ups.”
To some passersby, the bus looks like a frog. For others, it’s just a gimmick.
A gimmick for what? “Who knows?” One onlooker said. “Some artistic creation.”
The push-up bus, however, is one of Cerny’s less controversial works. In 1992, Cerny enraged London with an instillation of guns called “The Day of Killing” at a street art exhibition in Spitalfields. The family-friendly super bus, however, has earned Cerny a much nicer reception to the Olympic city.
Ashley Lisenby and Carolyn Bick visited the push-up bus for Only A Game and contributed to this report. Click on the on the SoundCloud play bar above to hear it. (Available after 8:30am Eastern Saturday.)