Musical Chairs -
Jerusalem 1961
"Musical Chairs" is a children's game.
In Germany the game is called Journey to Jerusalem. The game centres on a row of chairs. The children begin by taking a seat on the chairs.
Next music is played. The children stand up and begin walking round the chairs. As they walk, one of the chairs is removed.
The aim of the game is for the children to get to one of the remaining chairs as quick as possible the moment the music stops. The child who fails to get to a chair in time leaves the game.
The game goes on until there are only two children left and one chair. Whoever, as the music stops, reaches this chair first has won the game.
In 1961, Adolf Eichmann went on an involuntary Journey to Jerusalem. He had been found in Argentina by the Israeli Secret Service and was subsequently abducted to Israel. His court case in Jerusalem lasted for months and ended with a death sentence. Eichmann was hung and his ashes were strewn over the Mediterranean Sea. Photos of his trial went round the world and still stick in many people's memories. The installation Musical Chairs Jerusalem 1961 relates to both contexts.
On the one hand, a chair like in the children's game is at the centre of the installation, but one cannot sit on it.

It was Eichmann's first (and last) journey to Jerusalem.
The hole in the chair and the rope above reflect on the way Eichmann died. When a sentenced person is hung the floor beneath him gives way.
The last chair in this game remains empty. This game knows no winners only losers: Eichmann's victims and finally he himself.

Ronnie Golz, April 2001