fbpx
We rely on advertising revenue to support the creative content on our site. Please consider whitelisting our site in your settings, or pausing your adblocker while stopping by.

Get the Magazine

The Obstruction of Action by the Existence of Form Exhibition

Ahead of the 2024 Paris Olympics, a solo exhibition of three video works by artist R. Eric McMaster at the Blanton Museum of Art in Austin, Texas, explores the kinetic energy of Olympic gymnasts, figure skaters, and hockey players to echo societal stratification, restriction, and the individual’s lack of agency.

Running from March 2 through August 25, 2024 to coincide with the Paris Olympics, R. Eric McMaster looks at the protocols that govern various sports—namely gymnastics, hockey, and figure skating—by manipulating, isolating, or restricting the rules and conditions that determine athletes’ movements. One video work, A Change of Atmosphere (2015), captures a gymnast performing a pommel horse routine underwater, struggling with the awkwardness of breathing and the challenge of buoyancy rather than gravity.

Another, The Obstruction of Action by the Existence of Form (2012–13) features two full hockey teams and a referee in a space that is less than one-tenth the size of a regulation rink—these individuals hardly have space to turn around, much less skate. The players no longer glide, but clumsily inch back and forth on their skates. Their actions contracted, one experiences this particular match as a site of sanctioned, mundane combat. Rather than the glory, one feels the grind.

By presenting documentation and signifiers of Olympic events in which athletes have performed under unusual conditions, McMaster intensifies the viewer’s awareness of the conventions and agreements to which athletes are bound through their participation in an organized competition.

We rely on advertising revenue to support the creative content on our site. Please consider whitelisting our site in your settings, or pausing your adblocker while stopping by.
See more in Events