4.3 hectares or How can love, passion and patriotism be expressed in numbers, size and scale?
or The Race for the World’s Largest Flag
Upon being invited to participate in a group show which a had a precise, yet very open topic: The Flag, I wanted to create a new work. My first associations were not about the loaded meaning of the national flag, especially considering that I come form a country whose flag doesn’t stand for anything! It is a compromise whose nature isn’t even political but merely administrative.
One other thing struck me as more fascinating – the size of flags I encountered along the interstates in the South of the United States. These flags were usually flown over businesses, mainly car dealerships. I wasn’t interested what those flags meant in general or to those hoisting them – I was interested in their basic physical properties – how big were they? Following my interests I quickly found myself in the midst of research about the biggest flags in the world. The results were fascinating – the current biggest flag in the world having the area of 4.3 hectares! I did a similar study of tallest flagpoles; they came in tandem with the discussion of biggest flags.
I mapped my finds in a graph representing the relative sizes of the flags – in comparison to a football field and in accordance to a linear timescale. I talk about only the staggering sizes of these flags that continue to grow. These statistics leave a lot of space for reading between the lines. To anyone who has a good command over geography and history this graph tells a story – of politics, of patriotism, of balance of power in the world.
4.3 hectares has been presented as 2 part performance during which I draw a graph representing biggest flag sizes and tallest flagpoles on custom made chalkboards. The performance has a lecture format with the first part being 20 min in duration and second part being 15min. I expect the project to grow into an audio installation.