Spectator Sports Opens at MoCP

Opening at MoCP

Opening at MoCP

There is a new show up at Museum of Contemporary Photography. It opened last Thursday and has a few pieces in it that I am quite excited to finally see in person.The show focuses on art that revolves around sports, or more around the way that we as humans seem to revere sports in general. From the show’s introduction:

Each artist whose work is included in the exhibition demonstrates an interest in the unique and deeply engaging combination of drama, spontaneity, and spectacle that distinguishes sports from most other forms of popular entertainment. In diverse ways, the artists examine how spectators align their identity with a protagonist or team and take in the twists of fate, spikes of excitement, and human feats that unfold moment by moment in sport.

Charlie White: "The Americans: US Gymnastics Team", 2005

Charlie White: “The Americans: US Gymnastics Team”, 2005

There were two pieces that were really exciting for me to see in person. The first was a photograph by Charlie White titled The Americans: US Gymnastics Team. The piece is from a body of work that White did that focused on loosely recreating various images that had been shared, through the medium of television, and that had caused a collective cultural trauma in America. This particular image in the show references the final vault by Kerri Strug at the Olympics.

Kerri Strug and Coach Bela Karolyi

Kerri Strug and Coach Bela Karolyi

For those that don’t remember, she had injured her ankle on the previous vault and had to get a high score in order for the US to win the team competition. She did, and was carried off by the coach, which is the moment that White’s image focuses on. I have been looking at this image in relation to my own work for a long time, so it was exciting to finally have the chance to see it in person.

Paul Pfeiffer "Crucifixion"

Paul Pfeiffer “Crucifixion”

The other piece that really piqued my interest was a small video piece by Paul Pfeiffer. The piece is titled Crucifixion. What he did for this video was take footage from an NBA game and clone stamp out, frame by frame, all but one player. Although the original action of the player was celebratory, since the player is now alone, the action seems more painful than anything. The flashbulbs are also spectacular.

Paul Pfeiffer "Crucifixion" installed

Paul Pfeiffer “Crucifixion” installed

The show, curated by a former MFA student from Columbia, is quite nice and if you are around, I would go check it out.