Art Olympics

Results & Ideas from the Austrian Project Group      
“The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win but to take part, just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle. The essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well” – Ethelbert Talbot  
In November and December 2020 the Austrian Art Olympics Project Group exchanged ideas and thoughts about the Art Olympic Competition 2023. As Austria was in lockdown due to the Corona-Virus Pandemic at this time, the exchange happened online. There are many questions to be considered – with this résumé of our ideas we do not try to offer solutions, but to contribute to the discussion of what exactly the Art Olympics could look like.                          
Which of the Olympic Traditions should be included?   It is worth considering which of the Olympic Sports Competition’s traditions might be interesting to include in the Art Olympics. For example, the Olympic Symbol with its five intertwined rings, that represent the five inhabited continents – should we use it as well? Or create our own? Do we create an Olympic Flag? An Olympic Motto, like the one of the Sports Olympics: “Citius – Altius – Fortius”, which translates to “Faster, Higher, Stronger”. Is there a need or a want for an Olympic Emblem, an Anthem, an Olympic Flame? Will we have an opening and closing ceremony and a medal presentation?   As a group we find the ideas of an Olympic Symbol (maybe a variation of the 5 rings?), an Olympic Motto, an Olympic Flame and an opening and closing ceremony especially interesting.   Who participates?  
We prefer the option of competing in groups or teams. But if we decide on working in groups, we would support the idea of mixing all schools and countries.    
How many Olympic Disciplines should there be? And which ones?    
We favour the idea of separate Art Disciplines in which the artists compete. Some of us like the idea of five main disciplines, because there are five Olympic rings, as well. For example: handcraft (with sub-categories: embroidery, wood carving, sculpturing, culinary arts…), working on a 2D surface (drawing, painting, calligraphy…), writing (fiction, prose…), performing arts (theatre, dancing, music…), digital art (filmmaking, photography, new media…)  
One of the five disciplines could be chosen individually every year, so there are four constant disciplines, that are performed every year and another one, that is a different one every year.   There could be a specific theme all disciplines have to follow. Or everyone gets a box, in which there are the same things as in every other box. With the material inside the box everyone produces an individual piece of art – the procedure of handing out boxes can be used with all disciplines.   It would be cool to have a theme that applies to all the different disciplines (perhaps a feeling that needs to be portrayed, inspired by an artist/period of time/year/by a region/ country/ current event etc.). That way the different disciplines are connected, yet still have a creative freedom)  
Which Art Disciplines could be included?  
On this question we were quite divided as a group. In the Sports Olympic Games, the Olympic Committee decides which sports disciplines will be included. Some factors to include a sports discipline are for example the history of the sport and the universality of it (is it being practiced around the world?). We have made a list of all the Art Disciplines we could think of (the ones that we favour as a group are underlined) and tried to evaluate some of them in the fashion of an “Art Olympic Committee”. We considered history and universality of the art form, some of the logistics around including the disciplines in the Art Olympics, like what materials would be needed? And finally, we give examples for topics and themes that could be given to the artists competing in the discipline.     Architecture Calligraphy      Ceramics Cinematography     Comics     Commercial Art       Costume and Fashion Design Crochet    Culinary Arts Drawing Embroidery      Filmmaking Glass Blowing Graffiti Illustration       Industrial Design     Jewellery Design Knitting   Land Art Literary Arts: Drama       Literary Arts: Fiction       Literary Arts: Poetry Literary Arts: Prose         Mosaic    New Media Opera               Painting Paper Folding  Paper Making Dance      Music Theatre            Photography Printing   Restoration     Sculpting Stone Carving  Wood Carving