4.3 hectares / 2009

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.

photo documentation:
Rajko Radovanović

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