Franchise: Player?

Soccer+Fence

(proposal submitted to the 2009 apexart franchise competition for curated exhibition support)

Through my entire life as an athlete and artist, I have perceived a social binary dividing sport and art that I have found to be generally understood by both sides of the divide. Though there has been some artistic appreciation for the aesthetic qualities of the athletic body and its sporting pursuits, this art is largely of the heroic nature, that of mythic representation and nostalgia. There is no critical sport art. Or, more correctly, that which exists is diffused such that it is rarely assembled for group exhibition. Along with so many other works I am thinking about Jacques Julien's Ethylic, kanarinka's It Takes 154,000 Breaths to Evacuate Boston, Shaun Gladwell's Storm Sequence and Gustavo Artigas' The Rules of the Game.

A moebius strip of surveillance and spectacle in whose folding lies the athletic body and the poiesis of performance, contemporary sport is crucial to postindustrial economics and discourse. Thus, a critical sport art is not only aesthetically desirable but politically necessary. The challenge to the curator is to convey the large-scale sense of space demanded by the stadium while facilitating the intimacy required of a critical artistic work. I believe my portfolio of identities — athlete, artist and academic among them — would allow me to communicate such ideas about space, place, power and the athletic body as the curator of a critical sport art exhibition. At a crossroads of international sporting cultures, Toronto is an ideal location for this project — and apexart FRANCHISE support could help me realize my goal.

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