and it’s good!!!

April 6, 2011

anyone who grew up in the nineties can relate to the basketball frenzy that swept the world with the success of the chicago bulls and michael jordan’s tongue-wagging, air-getting and hyper fame. in chicago, there wasn’t a single kid’s room that didn’t have a jordan poster and even now, when i travel and tell people where i’m from, they always always always mention the bulls.

basketball has taken on so many connotations since its humble peach-basket beginnings. its association with the american dream and hip-hop culture is ripe for interpretation in various artistic media. nico has inspired me to re-ride the basketball wave lately, watching dunk contest videos on youtube and searching thrift stores for old-school bulls shirts. in a recent piece, he transformed a gallery at the cca into a basketball court, giving the community a much-needed space to brush up on free-throws, socialize and scrawl the names of their heroes on the wall.

suzanne lacy, who actually used to be the dean of the cca, also used basketball in her art practice in the 90s. working in oakland, she created several programs to help empower underprivileged teens and build better communication and relationships between them and local government, the media, and the police. in 1995-6, she created the performance, “no blood/no foul,” in which oakland kids play the oakland police in a televized basketball game, then sit down to talk about real-life issues.

david hammons’ 1982 work, “higher goals”, utilizes the symbol of the basketbal hoop as a reference for several aspects of african-american culture. combining found urban objects like bottlecaps and outrageously tall telephone poles, hammons nods ironically to the african roots of the past, and the irrational/impossible goal of “making it” in the future via basketball stardom.

leah tacha‘s basketball collages combine two of my favorite elements–dunking & glitter!!!

and we can’t forget the chicago classic, hoop dreams, an incredible 90s documentary about two young black kids aspiring to be the next nba stars.

more photos of “play on player” by nicolás colón via his website. david hammons images via franklin & marshall college. leah tacha images via brown paper bag and her website.


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3 Responses to and it’s good!!!

  1. Leah Tacha on April 6, 2011 at 9:31 am

    Hey! Just saw that you posted some of my work, thanks so much for the kind words and your blog is great! I love this post about basketball! warmly,

    • rrrebecca on April 7, 2011 at 4:55 pm

      hi leah, no problem, your work is awesome!! saw it on sara’s brown paper bag and it fit this post perfectly. keep up the good work! :)

  2. rape report | BIG THINGS on January 13, 2012 at 2:28 am

    [...] written about suzanne lacy and her work with oakland youth in the 90s before, but it is exciting to see her continuing to explore the concepts and agendas that she and her [...]

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