Architekur, Räume, Gesten
Architekur, Räume, Gesten
Architekur, Räume, Gesten

Stadium XII. Homage To The Audience, 1989 - 2006

The multimedia installation “Stadium. Homage to the Audience”, first presented at the Banff Centre for the Arts (Canada) in 1989, meanwhile comprises twelve versions which Muntadas had developed for different locations. The object of analysis is the stadium as archetype of spectacular architecture, which is investigated both in its historical dimensions as well as in its current functions and significance: the stadium as a standardised architectonic formula, as “container” for mass events, as instrument of manipulation and propaganda but also an archetype of media architecture which shifts the public from consumer to actor.

The installation constitutes an elliptically arranged arcade on the sand-covered floor of which a video floor projection can be seen. The visitor cannot enter the interior of this “arena” and may only view the video projection through the gaps between the columns. What can be seen is a collage of different recordings of stadium visitors who shift from the terraces to the centre of the stadium. The space is staged by a dramatic use of light. Slide-projections are positioned in the four corners with a total of 320 pictures which Muntadas produced partly by himself or else took from journals, television programmes, advertising and various other sources. The four slide projections are structured according to different aspects of stadiums: architectures, furnishings, symbols and activities. The dominant soundtrack, on the other hand, is a compilation of different audio backdrops of stadiums: hymns, pop music, speeches, applause etc.

In addition to “Stadium”, Muntadas exhibited the two series of drawings “Stadia, Furniture, Audience” (1990) and “Architektur/Räume/Gesten” (1991) as well as the new video work “On Translation: Die Schlange” (2006). Like “Stadium”, all three works reflect the relation between architecture, social behaviour and control.

With each of the presentations “Stadium” is re-contextualised in reference to temporal and local factors. That is, the existing reservoir of pictures is partially replaced by new material which was produced in Stuttgart, among others, in collaboration with students of the art academy. However, an entirely new aspect of the stadium manifested itself only during the opening of the exhibition: The “Stadium OFF” (Muntadas), which established itself in 2006 as the so-called “FIFA Fan Parties” in public squares.

(Iris Dressler, excerpt, catalogue)

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