Next year’s London Olympics has already been a catalyst for change, regeneration and a massive splitting of opinion.
From the furore over the logo – of which many comparisons have been made – to the well-mooted idea that residents of the host boroughs are getting something of a raw deal – the event has had it’s fair share of controversy.
Artists Mariana Fantich and Dominic Young have lived in Hackney Wick -an area now dominated by the Olympic site – for the last six years, giving them prime seats from which to view the regeneration of the area and form their own opinions.
To them, the Olympic site is a mini city within London that mirrors its host environment. Both, they believe, are spheres that ‘endorse ruthless competitiveness, hierarchal objectives and statistic driven targets.’
Taking this ferociously competitive aspect of sport as their starting point, Fantich & Young have traced Olympians back to school PE participants for their forthcoming exhibition, Red in Tooth and Claw.
Gymnasium equipment – the familiar shapes of the horse, box and climbing wall – have been recreated using 300 000 Sheffield steel Stanley knife blades, in a terrifying physical realisation of the competitive connotations of vintage school gymnasium apparatus.
The artists say, ‘The sculpture brings attention to the complex struggle between winners and losers, not only in athletic arenas but also in political and social arenas within society.’
Those failing to attend the exhibition must spend the rest of their day shamefacedly sporting their vests and pants. Possibly.
Red In Tooth And Claw runs from 6 October – 19 November at See Studio, 13 Prince Edward Toad, Hackney Wick, London E9