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25 July 2012
A spectacular 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 Auder, whose early subjects included actors from Andy Warhol’s Factory, are just three of the works on show in the exhibition, Pursuit of Perfection: The Politics of Sport.
Pursuit of Perfection brings together art works which, in different ways and to varying degrees of seriousness or wit, play on some of the issues raised by sport, the politics surrounding it and its representation in the media.
Spanning the SLG’s main and first floor galleries, the recently vacated Southwark Old Town Hall and off-site events on three local housing estates, the exhibition also marks an important moment in the history of the South London Gallery’s programmes as they extend into a range of social settings as part of a new long-term initiative entitled SLG Local.
Aleksandra Mir’s Triumph, 2009, creates a stunning spectacle of 2,529 trophies collected over the course of a year in Sicily. Taking ten people several days to install, this extraordinary array of trophies, dating from the 1940s onwards, are displayed individually and in groups, on scores of plinths, as well as piled up in huge heaps of glittering detritus across the SLG’s main exhibition space.
Exposing the tension between the symbolism of the trophy as indicative of accomplishment, versus its physical reality as an often-garish, mass-produced item of little value, Triumph is also a powerful visual statement of our tendency towards nostalgia, and the temptation to dwell on memories of past youth, vitality and joy.
South London Gallery,
65-67 Peckham Road
London SE5 8UH and
Southwark Old Town Hall,
31 Peckham Road, SE5 8UB
27 July – 14 Sept
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