October 27, 2012 - Blanton Museum of Art - The Rules of Basketball
October 27, 2012

The Rules of Basketball

Paul Pfeiffer, Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (07), 2002. Digital duraflex print, 48 x 60 inches.*

The Rules of Basketball
Works by Paul Pfeiffer and James Naismith’s
“Original Rules of Basket Ball”

Through January 13, 2013

Blanton Museum of Art
MLK & Congress
Austin, TX 78701


Guest Curator: Regine Basha

The Blanton Museum of Art at The University of Texas at Austin presents The Rules of Basketball, an exhibition of works by contemporary artist Paul Pfeiffer, presented in conjunction with a special display of James Naismith’s “Original Rules of Basket Ball”—the 1891 document that outlined the 13 original rules of the game. In this rare presentation, guest-curated by Regine Basha, the exhibition considers the sport from a historical perspective while also reflecting on the phenomena and spectacle that surround it.

In 1891, Naismith developed the game of “basket ball” with two peach baskets and a soccer ball, and drafted an accompanying set of 13 rules that he typed on two sheets of paper and nailed to the gymnasium wall. The rules outlined the fundamental structure of a game that would later become a national obsession—one that is explored in Paul Pfeiffer’s photographic and video work.

Pfeiffer has worked in the field of video, photography, installation art, and sculpture since the late nineties. Well-known and celebrated for his groundbreaking use of digital technologies, Pfeiffer adopts today’s frenetic visual language in order to consider the role that mass media plays in shaping consciousness.  In this unprecedented presentation at the Blanton, Pfeiffer’s work will be installed in a dialogue with Naismith’s rules. Through eight photographs and six video installations, the artist reframes the players, the ball, and the architecture of the arena to underline the sublime potential of the game and its metaphoric undertones. Also on view will be an exciting new work inspired by the life of Wilt Chamberlain.

The exhibition’s rare pairing of the historical document and Pfeiffer’s basketball works underscores the lasting and far-reaching impact of the game on the world of sports and culture.

*Image above:
Paul Pfeiffer, Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (07), 2002. Digital duraflex print, 48 x 60 inches. Collection Glenn and Amanda Fuhrman, New York; Courtesy The FLAG Art Foundation. © Paul Pfeiffer. Courtesy Paula Cooper Gallery, New York.

Blanton Museum of Art
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