WYATT NIEHAUS & CHRIS REEVES
For “Gameday2k12” we wanted to consider Nicolas Bourriaud’s idea of relational aesthetics, not as a democratic participatory art event, but rather in terms of the notion of antagonism, especially as outlined by Claire Bishop. Bishop posits antagonism as a necessary, sustaining and prevailing component of democracy (and a democratic society). Therefore the microtopias in relational art that Bourriaud suggests are put under scrutiny as oversimplifying the nature of true democracy.
We installed a basketball rim above the rear atrium of Third Party Gallery, and on the night of the performance set out three basketballs, accessible to anyone entering the gallery. We had six performers waiting in the wings for whenever someone picked up a basketball and attempted to play. When someone did pick up a basketball it was either knocked out of the hand of the person, or “stolen,” used and not given back to the person/viewer/participant who picked it up. “Gameday2k12” presents an opportunity to engage in a community event; that opportunity is ultimately denied.