press release

On view at the Wexner Center this winter: an exhibition that investigates sports and masculinity; works by French artist Cyprien Gaillard; and a newly commissioned installation by Alyson Shotz. All are on view January 30 – April 11, 2010.

Hard Targets surveys provocative artworks produced over the last 25 years and features more than 70 works in a variety of media by 21 contemporary artists. The exhibition endeavors to complicate and revise the time-honored archetype of the male athlete as an aggressive, heterosexual, hypercompetitive, emotionally remote subject. Instead, its artists offer opposing views that range from biology to commodity and from the locker room to the stadium. They also take on the complex theater of athletic play, examining the rituals and accoutrements that surround this still male-dominated world.

The artists in the show are Doug Aitken, Matthew Barney, Mark Bradford, Harun Farocki, Andreas Gursky, Douglas Gordon, David Hammons, Brian Jungen, Byron Kim, Jeff Koons, Cary Leibowitz, Glenn Ligon, Kori Newkirk, Catherine Opie (including a new suite of photographs of high school football players produced in Columbus), Philippe Parreno, Paul Pfeiffer (whose 11 exhibited works offer a mini-survey of this artist's career to date), Collier Schorr, Sam Taylor-Wood, Hank Willis Thomas, and Jonas Wood. A video work by Joe Sola video will be presented in The Box video space the first month of the show.

Notes curator Christopher Bedford, "This exhibition strives to trigger new discussions in and between the fields of contemporary art and the vast multimedia spectacle of male-dominated sports. My hope is that it offers a critical evaluation of the separation that still persists between sport as a cultural phenomenon and art as a field of inquiry—and evidence of the insight to be gained from moments of messy intersection."

Essays by Bedford, Matthew Biro, and Jennifer Doyle, plus interviews with select artists, will provide additional commentary on the exhibition's themes on the Wexner Center web site and in an accompanying gallery guide.

Also on view during this time is Cyprien Gaillard: Disquieting Landscapes, a selection of film and video pieces and large-scale photographs made between 2005 and 2008 by the French artist. The exhibition showcases Gaillard's ongoing rereading of contemporary landscapes and the man-made structures that define them.

Gaillard is interested in monuments, both ancient and modern, and their transformation. One recurring motif in his work is the postwar tower block. The artist reconsiders such buildings—many of which face obsolescence and destruction—as ruin, stage set, and sculpture. In the process, he examines aesthetic devices in film and photography that range from the documentary to the spectacular.

The exhibition presents recent large-scale photographs that hinge on the theme of building demolitions and "urban renewal." It also offers two contrasting filmic experiences: The mesmerizing silent film Real Remnants of Fictive Wars, Part V (2005), shown in a 35mm projection, and the sound and video montage Desniansky Raion (2007). The latter presents vivid spectacles, including a dramatic building demolition. Gaillard views such spectacles as an erasure. In his words, "It eclipses history; it justifies everything. It is Machiavellian."

The artist will introduce a screening of additional films and discuss his work in conversation with Catharina Manchanda, the Wexner Center's senior curator of exhibitions and the curator of Disquieting Landscapes, on January 28 at 4:30 PM.

A new sculptural installation by Brooklyn artist Alyson Shotz will be on view in the center's lower lobby. Made of an acrylic material that reflects and refracts color and light, the piece, called Standing Wave, takes its title from the theory of waves that remain in a constant position, and furthers the artist's interests in perception, aesthetics, and technology.

Hard Targets and Cyprien Gaillard: Disquieting Landscapes
Kurator: Catharina Manchanda

Künstler: Doug Aitken, Matthew Barney, Mark Bradford, Harun Farocki, Andreas Gursky, Douglas Gordon, David Hammons, Brian Jungen, Byron Kim, Jeff Koons, Cary S. Leibowitz, Glenn Ligon, Kori Newkirk, Catherine Opie, Philippe Parreno, Paul Pfeiffer, Collier Schorr, Sam Taylor-Wood, Hank Willis Thomas, Jonas Wood, Joe Sola