(June 3th – June 25th, 2017)
Daniel Arsham | Cornelia Baltes | Margarita Bofiliou | Liam Buckley | Sarah Cain | Caroline Chandler | Matt Johnson | Chrysanthi Koumianaki | Peter McDonald | Olga Migliaressi-Phoca | Ryan Mosley | Joakim Ojanen | Josh Smith | Panos Tsagaris | Andra Ursuta | Jonas Wood
Jump Ball, a group exhibition featuring international and Greek artists, transforms the entire gallery into a fantastical basketball court, thus challenging the pristine, enclosed gallery spaces. The exhibition plays with the artists’ reflection upon issues that matter in everyday lives, inspired by life inside but also away from the court.
It touches upon the close relationship between art and life turning its focus on basketball; as a popular game, a spectacle but also a locus of connection and a field of antagonism. It examines basketball as a cultural phenomenon in terms of both content and range of artefacts used. It seeks the way politics manifest in the everyday and discusses the material cultures of the political. Basketball refers to a series of images, events, forms, and feelings. As a game, it’s able to create alliances but also reify differences. It brings politics back down to everyday life. Jump Ball delves into this sports’ culture, considering its rules and violations as well as portraying its social, political and cultural significance, contemplating on issues of mass spectacle, celebrity culture, gender and ethnicity.
Basketball, consequently, provides numerous corollaries with art. Grace and fluidity of movement are characteristic attributes in the game. Each player develops their own unique approach towards the game resulting in a constant evolution of style. The roles and rules of basketball and art alike is a way of doing and being in the everyday. Both are a means of “play”, knowledge and action with an unpredictable yet forceful potential.
Daniel Arsham’s (b. 1980, Cleveland, Ohio, USA) multidisciplinary practice, challenges the line between art, architecture and performance. His sculptures resemble petrified twentieth-century media artefacts, constructed to look like they are decaying from obsolescence. The rock-eroded Leica M3, is standing as a future archaeological finding of a mass spectacle lost. The photograph as a means of archiving these kinds of events is archived itself in a playful reversal of use.
Liam Buckley’s (1985, London, The United-Kingdom) references stretch from pop culture to art historical highlights. His forms could resemble naive cheerleaders reenacting scenes from Picasso’s or Matisse’s paintings, without any affected seriousness.
Cornelia Baltes’ (b. 1978, Mönchengladbach, Germany) general source of work is the observation of daily life. She combines simple gestures with a vivid sense of humour. The contrasts and oppositions found in the everyday banal imagery, are charged in her paintings with elusive meaning. Her colourful and multi-textured abstract rhythms, invite the viewer to a celebration of the game played in the everyday.
Margarita Bofiliou (b. 1979, Athens, Greece) shares the confusion and loneliness of contemporary culture and its aesthetics and externalises the tragicomic effects of silenced consumeristic ideologies. She rethinks sports culture and specifically basketball in an intersectional manner, in relation to class, race, nationality and gender.
Sarah Cain (b. 1979, New York, USA) in her expansive painting practice, pushes the boundaries of her discipline. She incorporates found objects - colourful beads, crystals, a hula hoop - rendering them as unexpected talismans of power. Her works wrestle with improvisation and control, offering assertive gestures, while simultaneously suggesting vulnerability and trust.
Caroline Chandler’s (b. Norfolk, Virginia, USA) brightly coloured, wool, crocheted, basketball players celebrate their queerness, challenging the usual normative representations of the athlete.
Matt Johnson (b. 1978, New York, USA) explores the paradox of visual forms through unorthodox and surprising material. In his Basketball Jack O’Lantern the unexpected combination of form, material and represented object is strangely familiar, yet uncanny.
Chrysanthi Koumianaki’s (b. 1985, Heraklion, Greece) works involve layers of research and trace her attempts to translate the physical language -here the language of basketball- into abstract forms. The quietness of her work, with references to minimalism, ironically explores the flow of movement and its restrictions.
Peter McDonald’s (b. 1973 Tokyo, Japan) paintings use humour as a way of disarming the viewer. He paints people and situations that come across in his daily life, things that everyone can relate to. These include celebratory moments from disco but also grotesque gymnastics and racket sports.
Olga Migliaressi-Phoca (b. 1981, Athens, Greece) creates sculptures that derive from the logos of popular imagery. Using word-play, the artist twists iconic imagery that characterize contemporary western societies. In her canvases she uses digital collage as her medium to which she then intervenes with magazine clippings, acrylic and markers. She focuses on how the female body is objectified and sexualized in fashion magazines as well as in the mass spectacle and sports culture. She reproduces and reorganizes this sexualization and objectification in a sarcastic way, trying to displace the power of the male gaze, aiming at female empowerment.
Ryan Mosley’s (b. 1980, Chesterfield, UK) canvases offer up a surreal world of invented characters and rituals. Mosley develops his theatrical subjects through a spontaneous approach to painting. In Moving Shadows, his expressive brushstroke depicts spectators in carnivalesque attire ready to participate or withdraw.
Joakim Ojanen’s (b. 1985, Västerås, Sweden) paintings and ceramics, melancholic and humorous at the same time embody the child within us all. His unique characters, with their basket balls, soda cans, beer bottles and cigarettes create emotionally charged narratives. The vulnerability of adulthood is portrayed by these human and canine figures; Like old men trapped in children’s bodies that urge to play.
Josh Smith (b. 1976, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA) compels us to move beyond aesthetics towards a focus on process and looking. His backboards delineate the exhibition’s playful narrative turning the gallery space into a basketball court.
Panos Tsagaris (b. 1979, Athens, Greece) through his work expresses the beauty and the poetry of the everyday. He contemplates on life’s fragile struggle between the sacred and the profane.
Andra Ursuta (b. 1979, Salonta, Romania) in her Olympdicks series presents monumental photograms on velvet, depicting vacant penis costumes, engaged in pathetic gymnastics and self-sabotage. The Olympdicks athletes are crumpled, decorticated silhouettes. Gutted, pierced, hung, and bent out of shape. They are perverted testaments to the meaninglessness of sport spectacles and their short-lived victories
Jonas Wood (1977, Boston) through his partially abstract rendering of subjects and use of bright colors, emphasizes patterns and forms while flattening out the space in his compositions. In his Blue Ball Three presented at the exhibition, he combines his love of the games with an expert eye for emotion and thrill.
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High res images of the exhibition you can find under the following link: