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Men With Balls: The Art of the 2010 World Cup

  • Location:
    New York

Opening reception: June 10, 6-8pm

Including work by artists Miguel Calderon, Hellmuth Costard, Harun Farocki, Liam Gillick, Douglas Gordon and Phillippe Parreno, Christopher Isenberg, Mark Leckey, and Uri Tzaig with memorabilia contributed by Roger Bennett and Bill Shankly. Mark E. Smith will read the football results.

The FIFA World Cup is the most important and widely watched sporting event in the world and will run this year from June 11 - July 11, 2010, in South Africa. The germinal idea for the show is very simple: to create the perfect football environment, a sort of mini-soccer paradise at apexart for watching games. Around the games themselves, there will be talks, events, and a series of works, objects, and activities that will expand the spectacle into a more conceptual and sensual rumination on the meaning and significance of football/soccer.

The World Cup is a spectacle in the strictly Situationist sense. It is a shiny display of nations in symbolic, atavistic national combat adorned with multiple layers of commodification, sponsorship and the seemingly infinite commercialization. It is an image of our age at its worst and most gaudy. But it also something more, something bound up with difficult and recalcitrant questions of conflict, memory, history, place, social class, masculinity, violence, national identity, tribe, and group. The hope of the exhibition Men With Balls is to construct a unique situation where these questions can be ruminated on collectively.

Football is working-class ballet. It's an experience of enchantment. For an hour and a half, a different order of time unfolds and one submits oneself to it. A football game is a temporal rupture with the routine of the everyday: ecstatic, evanescent, and, most importantly, shared. At its best, football is about shifts in the intensity of experience. And stories will multiply from that experience, stories of heroes and villains, of triumph, and a gnawing sense of the injustice of defeat. The aim of the exhibition is to produce with this show is some experience of being together with others in a group, watching a game, waiting for something marvelous, unexpected, and possibly magical to happen. And it will happen.

Organized with curatorial assistance from Erica F. Campbell, Jessica Iannuzzi, and Natasha Llorens. Running June 10- July 11, 2010.