Aleksandra Mir

Pursuit of Perfection

By Emily Gosling
designweek.co.uk, London, July 2012

Triumph London
27 July - 14 September 2012
part of Pursuit of Perfection: The Politics of Sport
South London Gallery, London

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.

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

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.

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’.

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.