The Indian Olympics

1981 until today

work in progress
in the moment 36 min
Super 8, video and found footage
without sound

The Olympics have never been held in India before. Maria Vedder makes up for this with her Indian Olympics – but in a completely different way. Not a showcase for the best, fastest and most ambitious, but everyday performances by the artist’s friends and companions that celebrate playfulness in snapshots. It is the poetry of the moment when four women dive headfirst into the sea for “synchronized swimming” and then stretch their somewhat shaky legs out of the water or when sorting laundry is presented as “endurance training”. These mini-performances are supplemented by found footage material and structured by old-fashioned intertitles. They lend the silent images the melancholy aura of silent films, allowing viewers to glide weightlessly through space and time. Black and white shots and faded Super 8 colors, documentary and staged footage, history and stories are interwoven. The project is a work in progress – so it will be interesting to see what else the Indian Olympics will come up with over the next few years. One thing is certain – there will be plenty of movement, and thus undoubtedly common ground between sport and film.”
Anja Osswald 2023

The film makes fun of the goals of sport, it is a parody of the Olympic Games. To the always higher, further, faster. This ideology underlies our whole life and is unhealthy for us and our environment.
I contrast this with the playful, the private. We stage absurd sporting disciplines. We put on these performances for the camera, especially when I’m travelling around the world. I also ask friends to provide me with video material they have shot themselves with similar actions for my film.
So it’s a performance film.
And it’s a travel film.
And it is a journey through the development of technology. It all started on Super 8 film and then takes us on a journey through the history of video technology: U-Matic, VHS, Betamax, S-VHS, Hi-8, Mini-DV, HDV…
The film is a work in progress, which means we are always moving on.