“Over the past decade, sports have assumed an even larger place in our culture, advancing further into the fields of art, film, and media,” artist and curator Astria Suparak noted during a visit to the Wex last month. For examples, she cited things such as ESPN’s 30 for 30 series and sports-specific gallery exhibitions like the Wex’s 2010 show Hard Targets.
Astria’s visit was part of a series of programs in March in which Wex curators focused on the intersection of sports, art, and culture. She was joined by Brett Kashmere, her co-editor for the latest, sports-centered issue of INCITE, an annual, artist-run print publication dedicated to experimental media. They discussed the issue and shared a program of experimental films, and the Wex also presented a new program of rare baseball films along with the premiere of Columbus filmmaker Chris Bournea’s documentary Lady Wrestler: The Amazing, Untold Story of African American Women in the Ring.
For this edition of WexCast, we’re sharing another part of the program, the spirited panel discussion Expanding the Field: Sports and Culture. Moderated by our own Director of Film/Video, Dave Filipi, the talk included input from Ohio State Department of Human Sciences Professor Samuel Hodge and two distinguished, nationally recognized Columbus artists: Carmen Winant, installation artist and author of the new book My Birth, and Hanif Abdurraqib, author of the critically acclaimed essay collection They Can’t Kill Us Until They Kill Us. Each have athletic backgrounds and respectively, they touch on the role sports play on society and in their individual practices. Carmen’s work was recently featured at the Wexner Center as part of the summer 2017 exhibition Gray Matters, and Hanif’s book can be found at the Wexner Center Store, along with the new issue of INCITE.