THE BEAUTIFUL GAME
Presented as part of Co-MMotion,
Brisbane City Council’s 2018 Temporary Art Program
Women of the World Festival
A giant football, fierce feminism and a surreal landscape of boulders and cakes.
In medieval Europe, football was an exuberant, unruly game in which one entire village pitted itself against another. Contemporary forms of football are all descended from this annual scrum in which the players - priests and seamstresses, farmers and widows - threw social mores aside, using any means necessary to get the ball into the other village’s churchyard. Despite its strict parameters and the recent addition of women to the professional league, today’s football often functions as a display of hyper-masculinity. The Beautiful Game parodies this by harking back to the sport’s wild and lawless roots, but this time placing women and non-binary people on the field, a place they have long been excluded from.
Dissecting and splicing the cultures of football and feminism, The Beautiful Game reinvents the footy pitch as a joyful and humorous space for women and non-binary people to take risks, assert themselves and fight side-by-side for a common goal.
Created and performed in Brisbane, the work connects with its site by commenting on the long-standing rivalry between Brisbane’s north and south. Participants were asked to choose their allegiance to either the Southside Tuffs, after Brisbane Tuff - a colourful rock unique to Kangaroo Point, or the Northside Lamingtons - after the coconut-dusted cake allegedly first made for Lord and Lady Lamington at Government House.
A community call for participants filled the two teams and cheer squad, and the work took place on Saturday 7 April, 2018 in Brisbane's New Farm Park.
Produced by People. Artist. Place
All photography by Dave Kan.