Curator／Sean C.S. Hu
Every four years the Olympics return as the biggest sports event that captivates the world. Beneath this athletic carnival, what we witness is not only a form of demonstration of the host country’s capability and interactions between cultures but also a necessity to create a domestic market through massive construction projects as well as a great opportunity to attract the capital of global corporations to for earning profits and promoting the host city. Moreover, the Olympics have also become a stage for the political struggle between nations. As early as the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union had boycotted each other and transformed the Olympics into a contest between the opposite state systems of capitalism and communism. It has even become a site of bloodshed for the Middle Eastern countries to express their political stands. In the past Olympic Games, Taiwan has also sought opportunities to be seen hoping to gain international publicity while facing consequently the inevitable political suppression of China.
Therefore, the term, the Olympics, has become a complex noun as well as verb and manifested as an encapsulating spectacle in the era of globalization. No matter we are looking at the sports per se or the competition in general, it is clear that the modern Olympics serves as the epitome and representation of the global reality. It is a presentation centering on the dominating Western powers, an international summit of powerful countries, an exotic exposition of uprising countries as well as an exhibition of multinational corporations. Hence, the Olympics is not simply a sports event, and sports are no longer athletic games.
In recent years, Taiwan has gained some particular insights on athletic competitions, from the criticism following the unexpected setbacks in the 2012 Olympics, to the excellent performance of Taiwanese baseball players, to the world champion of female professional golf, to phenomenon triggered by Jeremy Lin, etc. All these evidence point out that our lives are closely connected to sports and make visible our collective desire and reality in the era of globalization. “Insportsration” hopes to suggest an alternative direction as well as way of thinking for contemporary society in terms of the sports industry, environment and thinking.
Starting from this modern athletic event, “Insportsration” attempts to review and reinterpret sports and the multiple meanings behind them. The artworks of Taiwanese, Indian and Australian artists will redefine the cultural meanings of sports, and integrate various sports such as gymnastics, soccer, dancing, yoga, and ultimate sports into the diverse languages of behavioral art, post-colonialism, national identity, international politics, class conflict, subcultures, and gender identity, etc.