In anticipation of the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games next year, this exhibition sets out to reexamine the significance of sports from an artistic perspective. The title, de-sport, is a newly coined term derived from the medieval French word desport, meaning “to enjoy,” and the idea of dismantling and rebuilding sports, expressed by the phrase “deconstructed sport.”* In tracing the etymology of the word “sport,” one finds that it originally meant “an enjoyable diversion from routine labor,” and included artistic pursuits such as music, theatre, painting, and dance. In contrast to contemporary sports – a parade of consummate physiques and skills, and a commodification of competition as entertainment – this exhibition returns to the roots of sports and adopts an artistic viewpoint in order to reconsider these activities as social constructs that reflect various issues of the day, including play, the body, the state, war, and non-verbal communication. Don’t miss this chance to watch and experience sports, deconstructed and reconstructed from the artistic perspectives of ten artists from nine countries around the globe.
*The exhibition title was inspired by Eugene Kangawa’s solo exhibition “supervision / Desport.”