The Ski Museum arranged an exhibition highlighting playfulness in sports through the works of Thomas Westphal and Tuija Lindfors.
Artist Thomas Westphal looks with new eyes at objects associated with games and sport, and he has created installations using sports equipment as their components. The past and present meet in his works. He created two brand new works for the Playontology exhibition: The Ikarus Complex and The Dawn of Man – a New Approach.
Ikarus Complex is an ink drawing that studies a human being’s dream of flying. It is a visual study of bird-like features in humans and human-like features in birds. The idea of The Dawn of Man – A New Approach is based on Stanley Kubrick’s movie 2001: A Space Odyssey. In Kubrick’s movie, mankind’s first invention was a tool for hunting and fighting. Westphal plays with the idea that the first invention was a ball instead of a murder weapon.
Thomas Westphal’s installation Armor E is made of different pieces of hard protective gear worn by athletes in sports such as ice-hockey and American football. He mixed the pieces together and used them to compose a male and female figure. On illuminated tables, they look like archaeological burial finds. However, Westphal found the ball theme the most interesting and made several installations of balls.
The works of artist Tuija Lindfors are rich in humour. Nature and sports equipment engage in a dialogue in them. One of the works is called Luistelijan Salkovin unelmahyppyhokkarit (‘A skater’s dream hockey skates for a Salchow jump’) Tuija Lindfors explains: ‘As a child, I admired figure skaters. They jump high in the air so incredibly lightly, and I really hold my breath for them. In my mind, the lightness of their jumps is associated with dandelion parachutes that fly and dance in the air.
Hiljaisten hiihtäjien kis(s)asukset (‘Catkin skis of silent skiers’) describes the softness of snow and snowdrifts in spring. Furry catkins feel soft to the hand, just like snow. The name of the work refers to spring, as catkins usually appear before Easter, and the Holy Week preceding Easter is called Silent Week in Finland. Tuija Lindfors’ works also portrayed playful interpretations of sportswear and sports equipment.