The Final Countdown (2010)

Video installation for 3 projectors
47.44 min. (loop)
3 X PAL – color – stereo

Production, realization, editing: Koen Theys
Assistants: Alex Dumitran, Glenn Geerinck
Sound Finalization: Johan Vander maelen
Co-Production: Mediations Biennale, Poznan

The video-installation ‘The Final Countdown’ contains more than 2000 clips found on YouTube, each showing an individual interpreting the celebrated opening tune of the song ‘The Final Countdown’, created by the rock band ‘Europe’. People from all over the world play this tune on piano, violin, trumpet or harmonica, in a brass band, in a symphonic orchestra or just singing, together with thousands of other people in gigantic stadiums.

At first the video installation seduces us, just like the tune, but soon we are overcome with uneasiness at the sight of all these individuals trying to excel in the interpretation of this popular tune. How painful, these attempts, for how common they are, how general, how painfully normal! In seeing these people, we are reminded of our own dreams, which are no less futile… But at the same time we take delight in this beautifully constructed baroque piece of art, turning a simple tune into the maddening heart of a dionysiac Greek chorus. Using the form of a triptych, Koen Theys places himself with this work in the tradition of ‘The Final Judgement’ painters.
(Carla Van Campenhout)

“… This transformation of the personal story into an exposé of universal significance was executed to stunning effect in The Final Countdown by Koen Theys. …”
Justine Grace – Lola Journal

Entire article (EN)

“ … What many had assumed to be a rather silly anthem sung at sporting events becomes transformed into something of a litmus test for the prowess of amateur performers with their eyes on the prize of stardom. …”
Richard Porton – Cineaste

Entire article (EN)

... The Breughelian excess is evaded, avoided and suppressed, until it all explodes, as in the recent videoworks Waterloo Forever! and the hilarious, hallucinatory, haunting and dramatic The Final Countdown, in which we see half the world yearning at a frightening, painful, mindless, but enthusiastic kind of pathos …
Hans Theys – ‘Over lelijkheid en denken met beelden’
Uit: ‘Over Vorm’ - Tornado Editions 2010

Entire article (NL)