Chasing Time

05 June 2014 - 18 January 2015

Locations: Focus and Gallery


How is time perceived by athletes, neuroscientists, philosophers, sociologists and artists? How is time measured in sport, and how is it divided into thousandths of seconds? How do athletes experience and manage the time spent in competition? This exhibition aims to shed light on these questions, focusing on the intimate relationship between time and movement, and the effects of industrial time on time in sport.

Back in ancient times there was no concept of “records” in sport. But as philosophers began to wonder about the meaning of time and scientists began making great strides in technology, physiology and biodynamics, the idea of measuring time was gradually introduced into the sporting arena.
Visitors will learn how races involve both an objective measurement of time and, paradoxically, a certain timelessness, a moment out of time. They will see how sport, philosophy and science come together in sporting competition, and how time is experienced differently by sprinters, marathon runners and boxers.

Champions offer their own thoughts. The exhibition includes elements of art, music and video, demonstrating the shared desire of artists and athletes to grasp the meaning of time.



4 and 29 June
Concert – Symphony for 100 métronomes by Ligeti

György Ligeti composed the Poème symphonique in 1962. This unusual work requires 100 metronomes (preferably pyramid shaped), a conductor and 10 performers. The metronomes are all wound to their maximum extent and set to different speeds. Once they are all fully wound, there is a silence of two to six minutes, at the discretion of the conductor; then, at the conductor’s signal, they are all started as simultaneously as possible. The performers then leave the stage. As the metronomes wind down one after another and stop, periodicity becomes noticeable in the sound, and individual metronomes can be more clearly distinguished. The piece typically ends with just one metronome ticking alone for a few beats, followed by silence. The performers then return to the stage.

Length: 20 minutes
Tickets CHF 20, on sale at the Olympic Museum welcome desk, the Lausanne Conservatoire and the FNAC


11 June – Come and meet…
Talks: Philosopher Raphaël Enthoven talks about the concept of time for an athlete, in the company of free-diver Umberto Pelizzari and other athletes.