Installation in public space, during the Olympic Games in Athens,
and at the MAC VAL museum, Vitry-sur-Seine, for the exhibition
Tous, des sangs-mêlés
Jason Karaïndros has always worked with philosophical concepts, spaces and time / times, that is, from mythological to cosmic, social or political, which occupy his thought as well as his life choices. His project for “Athens by Art” was an ordinary pedestal like one in the Olympics that athletes stand on to receive their medal. It was painted gray, with the numbers 1, 2 and 3 cleary written numbers on its face. Not visible, however, were the work’s electrical components (sound system) located inside the pedestal, containing the 67 audio files, each approximately one minute long, which played in random, following one minute of silence. Each of these files was a triplet, a synchronic broadcast of three national anthems of the 201 countries that participated in the Games. As the artist notes, the number 3 - already part of the Olympic code - symbolizes multiplicity.
As in all of Karaïndros’ works (audio, visual, environmental), the viewer was asked to participate in this dialogue. The pedestal was located in a public place so that any passer-by “could step up on it, thus transforming it into the base of a living sculpture or into a piece of music or theater of the absurde”, in which the viewer briefly stars.
With three anthems played synchronically, like some sort of bizarre contest in which there is no best or worst and which always borders on cacophony, this work embodies coexistence and harmony, a symphony as it were, through multiplicity and difference. Meanwhile, it also question the notions of championship and “coming in first,” which often supersede those of nobility, equality and friendly rivalry in modern sport events.