(2008) Site-specific installation with video and sound.  In collaboration with Danielle Karalus.

Video documentation and sample of the audio playing from underneath the miniature grandstand.   Winner_TVandaudiocommentary

What constitutes a winner? Is it mental edge, chance, risk or a myriad of variables all converging into one moment of triumph and/or realisation?

Athletes who don’t control their minds will never fully control their bodies, according to Sean McCann, former chief psychologist of the U.S.A. Olympic Team. When athletes of equal skill, physical fitness and ability compete with each other, the difference between first place and second place is negligible, possibly only .05 seconds. In a culture of sport, this is serious business with more than quantitative outcomes!

Olympic athletes combining physical skill and training along with concentrated mental mindfulness using psychological focusing practices take the gold. Both the mind and the body must act together in order to achieve the ultimate goal. Winners are established when physical strength and mental strength work in unison for a common objective.

Using humorous commentary, cheering and applause to demonstrate this, Winner seeks to engage the participants at Bourke Place into the frame of mind of positive thinking, visualisation, mind flipping (turning negative thoughts into positive ones) by comparing the corporate mindset with the athletic.

Danielle Karalus and Jen Rae videotaped individuals traversing through the right foyer space at Bourke Place during two workdays. Observing flows of movement throughout the day and noting times of congestion at peak times, the video camera captured the comings and goings of a typical Bourke Place workday. The unedited footage was shown to four Melbourne-based comedians: Andrew McClelland & Christina Adams and John Chaplin-Fleming & Rusty Berther from Scared Weird Little Guys.

The comedians were briefed on the site, the artists’ observations and the clientele at Bourke Place. Based on this briefing, the comedians were asked to provide a sporting-like commentary emphasizing notions of positive thinking, human movement and the attitude of a winning mindset. With these instructions, the comedians established through humorous dialogue correlations between an athlete’s mindset and that of a corporate worker. For example, a foyer is compared to a field and a business meeting is referred to as a sporting event.

Exaggeration, folly and satire are emphasised throughout the audio component of the installation. Situated on an official stage-like riser, the speakers sound the comedic narrations and cheering to the audience and passers-by. In some cases, the voices appear to be speaking directly to selected individuals. The audio is looped to correspond to times within the working day, allowing viewers of the artwork a varied experience in the morning, at lunch and at home time.

Across the foyer sits a video monitor showing the fast-forwarded version of the actual real-time footage captured by the artists.

Commentary by:
Scared Weird Little Guys, John Chaplin-Fleming and Rusty Berther.
Contact: Smartartists Management on (03) 9416 0177 or

Christina Adams and Andrew McClelland, Australian Comedy Management
Contact: Geoff Ring,

Sound Engineering and Design provided by
Matt Gearing-Thomas at Thumper Audio