BFBS92, 2011. Audio installation: two speakers, sound. Variable size.
BFBS92 is an audio-based artwork consisting solely of two stereo speakers facing each other (at a distance of a couple of metres) in a dark room.
The sound filling the space is two male voices reading the chess moves in a match between Bobby Fischer and Boris Spassky that took place in 1992 in Yugoslavia, when the civil war had just started raging in the country. Channelled into two stereo speakers, the voice-over alternately calls the two players’ moves. Due to the lack of a physical chess board or chess pieces, the game is played out in the minds of the audience, just like a game of blindfold chess. Of course, only trained players would be able to follow this level of game to the end, while the greater part of the audience would lose track of the position of the pieces after a number of moves. The sense of having information, but not understanding the full context or development, can be compared to how global politics work, where we, as members of society, often lose track of the complex political landscape, even though we may be informed about individual strategies, decisions and moves.
To explain his motivation for creating the work using a chess game, the artist says: “I tried to use the game of chess symbolically as a Trojan horse to take us behind the walls of stereotype and into the confusing world of political puzzles”.