museumuesum

THE INTERSECTIONS OF ABSTRACTION, TEXT & LANGUAGE, POST-MODERNIST AESTHETICS, EXPERIMENTAL, PERFORMATIVE, MULTI-MEDIA APPROACHES TO ARTMAKING // ORIGINAL CONTENT SELECTED BY JONATHAN WEISKOPF, BOSTON, MA.
Paul Pfeiffer
Playroom, 2012
Steel, glass one-way mirror, wood, MDF, fabric, upholstery, and lights 62 1/4 x 72 x 30 in. (158.1 x 182.9 x 76.2 cm)
Pfeiffer has created a sculpture based on the “playroom” from legendary basketball player Wilt Chamberlain’s Los Angeles mansion. Built in 1971 to Chamberlain’s specifications, the mansion was widely publicized in the press as a palace dedicated to luxury and sensual pleasure. The playroom, which was paneled in mirrors and upholstered with wall to wall sofas around a fur-covered waterbed, appears here in an abstracted, open-ended version, emptied of its décor and revealing the core geometries of the design. The exhibition also includes a video work, based on an 8mm home movie from the 1970s showing a group of adults and children on a trip to the zoo. The movie, which has been digitally altered, contains fragments of a storyline and invites the viewer to piece together the nature of the characters’ relationship and the narrative they are performing. A second film work, based on footage from basketball games from the 1950s through the 1990s, is a rhythmic montage focusing on the flutter of the net and the strobe of flashbulbs at the climactic moment when the ball goes through the hoop. Finally, a laconic, meditative group of photographs rounds out the exhibition. Based on an existing family album from the 1970s, the images have been turned into black and white tableaux showing domestic interiors and landscapes devoid of people. Mundane details suddenly appear loaded with significance as what is ordinarily thought of as background takes center stage. Together with the rest of the works, they not only conjure a period in our history when social norms governing race, sex and the family were lastingly transformed, but also resonate today as evocations of absence, loss and desire.

Paul Pfeiffer

Playroom, 2012

Steel, glass one-way mirror, wood, MDF, fabric, upholstery, and lights 62 1/4 x 72 x 30 in. (158.1 x 182.9 x 76.2 cm)

Pfeiffer has created a sculpture based on the “playroom” from legendary basketball player Wilt Chamberlain’s Los Angeles mansion. Built in 1971 to Chamberlain’s specifications, the mansion was widely publicized in the press as a palace dedicated to luxury and sensual pleasure. The playroom, which was paneled in mirrors and upholstered with wall to wall sofas around a fur-covered waterbed, appears here in an abstracted, open-ended version, emptied of its décor and revealing the core geometries of the design. The exhibition also includes a video work, based on an 8mm home movie from the 1970s showing a group of adults and children on a trip to the zoo. The movie, which has been digitally altered, contains fragments of a storyline and invites the viewer to piece together the nature of the characters’ relationship and the narrative they are performing. A second film work, based on footage from basketball games from the 1950s through the 1990s, is a rhythmic montage focusing on the flutter of the net and the strobe of flashbulbs at the climactic moment when the ball goes through the hoop. Finally, a laconic, meditative group of photographs rounds out the exhibition. Based on an existing family album from the 1970s, the images have been turned into black and white tableaux showing domestic interiors and landscapes devoid of people. Mundane details suddenly appear loaded with significance as what is ordinarily thought of as background takes center stage. Together with the rest of the works, they not only conjure a period in our history when social norms governing race, sex and the family were lastingly transformed, but also resonate today as evocations of absence, loss and desire.

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