The show, curated by LACMA’s Christopher Bedford (who has played rugby and American football and still has all of his original teeth) takes a look at how contemporary art addresses the subject of organized men’s sports. The sneaker sculptures of Brian Jungen examine athletic regalia. Photographs of high school wrestlers by Collier Schorr look at issues of team dynamics and male adolescent sexuality. And a giant soccer ball sculpture by Mark Bradford, hangs like a nutsack in the corner. It’s a small, but potent show, that looks at a subject that is omnipresent in our culture, yet almost absent from contemporary art.
The LACMA blog has a post about the opening, including this video of the performance by Shaun Leonardo. The rituals of sport fascinate me, and the rutting-stag full-body-slamming of American football to me sums up that blurring of the line between action and artifice that has brought the word 'spectacle' into sport.
Bull in the Ring from LACMA on Vimeo.
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