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Ella Sowinska

Round 14 (Irymple vs Red Cliffs)

Video installation
Dimensions variable
 
 
Ella Sowinska
Round 14 (Irymple vs Red Cliffs), 2013
Video installation
Dimensions variable
Photograph: Kristian Häggblom


The AFL club can be found in almost every town in Victoria. It forms a community and a sense of identity (identifying as a member or fan of a particular club) and is an integral part of the lives of many Victorians. Round 14 responds to the Australian cultural tradition of sexualising sport, particularly AFL. The footage takes place at a football match in a small town just outside of Mildura. Instead of the sport as the main focus, the footage digresses and focuses on the bodies of the players when they’re not actually in action and the spectators, offering an alternative view of the match. In this case, the sport is secondary to the entertainment value of a football match and the much looked forward to Saturday afternoon day out. It follows the ‘local hero’ throughout the match, like Douglas Gordon’s Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait or Hellmuth Costard’s much earlier Football As Never Before through a more sexualised lens. It references documentary film and plays with the conventions of fact and fiction and the role of the filmmaker in creating meaning through their own desires.  Indulging in this obsession offers pleasure to both the artist creating the work and the audience that is forced to participate in the act of gazing. It critiques (and indulges in) the desire to gaze at, idealise and sexualise players, and the universal ulterior motive of spectators of sport to see and to be seen.
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