Pedestal for Three Flags, 2016.
Madera, pintura, 80 x 370 x 60 cm
In addition to showing off their culture, trade and customs and flexing their economic and technological muscle, national pavilions at international exhibitions were a way of displaying power and sovereignty. Although the Spanish Pavilion in 1937 dissociated itself from those practices, however anti-fascist a nation may consider it- self it also has a sovereignty to defend, state structures to maintain, laws to obey and a flag to honour.
The Pavilion was built on an irregularly-shaped, sloping site, and this had to be taken into account in the installation of three masts on which the Republican, Catalan and Basque flags waved. In order to resist the friction of the wind, due to their considerable height, a cement casing was designed to anchor the poles below the ground.
Pedestal for Three Flags is a life-size replica of that casing, but it takes the slope of the ground into account. The aim is, on the one hand, to emphasise the similarity of the casing to a tomb or sarcophagus, showing that, even in the most just and laudable fights, flags impose obedience and respect for national sovereignty above personal considerations; and, on the other, to convey a sensation of decentrement and loss of balance.