Pursuit of Perfection: The Politics of Sport

One of the most pleasingly alliterative exhibitions we’ve featured in What’s On, Pursuit of Perfection: The  Politics of Sport, opens next week in south London, showing that art and sport are by no means mutually exclusive.

Aleksandra Mir, Triumph, 2,529 trophies, 2009.

Source: Image courtesy the artist

Aleksandra Mir, Triumph, 2,529 trophies, 2009.

The show aims to cast an eye over ‘the issues raised by sport, the politics surrounding it and its representation in the media.’

Work in progress still for John Gerrard, Exercise (Djibouti) 2012. Work in progress still for John Gerrard, Exercise (Djibouti) 2012.

Source:Commissioned by the Ruskin Schoo

Work in progress still for John Gerrard, Exercise (Djibouti) 2012. Work in progress still for John Gerrard, Exercise (Djibouti) 2012.

Among the works on show are a gargantuan display of 2,529 trophies by Aleksandra Mir, a state-of-the-art simulation by John Gerrard, and a scratch video collage of the 1984 LA Olympics by Michel Auber.

Michel Auber, The Games: Olympic Variations, 1984
Michel Auber, The Games: Olympic Variations, 1984

Mir’s work, entitled Triumph, comprises of trophies dating from the 1940s to the present day collected over the course of a year in Sicily. According to the gallery, this vast mound of wins creates a ‘a powerful visual statement of our tendency towards nostalgia, and the temptation to dwell on memories of past youth, vitality and joy.’

Exercise (Djibouti) 2012 by John Gerrard, meanwhile, uses motion capture technology to create a large-scale cinematic installation within the council chamber in Southwark Old Town Hall. It uses documentary footage of US military exercises in Djibouti (Horn of Africa), which orbits over a yearly cycle that incorporates the movements of sun, moon and stars and ‘reflects on the relationship between competitive sport, military training, theatrical performance and dance’.

Still from Roderick Buchannan, 83/03, 2003

Source: Image courtesy the artist

Still from Roderick Buchannan, 83/03, 2003

Other pieces include Roderick Buchanan’s video 83/03, which reflects on the newspaper reportage of matches from the perspective of the losing team; Lucy Gunning’s video The Footballers, which shows two women wearing lab coats, shin pads and studs playing football in a gallery space and Ariel Orozco’s photograph of this poor stray dog tattooed to look like a football.

Perro Balon, Ariel Orozco, 2003.

Source: Image courtesy the artist and Selma Feriani Gallery, London.

Perro Balon, Ariel Orozco, 2003.

Pursuit of Perfection: The  Politics of Sport runs from 27 July – 14 September at South London Gallery and Southwark Old Town Hall, 31 Peckham Road, London SE5

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