Saturday, December 5, 2009

Left Wing, Left Leg

Riyas Komu, Left Leg 2008

I write this from Goa, just minutes before heading to a meeting with the Indian National Football Team.   This is part of a research trip to India, to explore the work and practice of the artist Riyas Komu.  Komu has been meditating on football for a few years now, and is as passionate a fan of the sport as I've met - and is particularly committed to the sport in India.  I'll be posting articles about this trip on Art21 - and will announce those posts and link to them here.  Above is one of a series of his "left leg" sculptures - carved from salvaged wood, cut through with slabs of concrete and steel cable. When I first saw one of these sculptures, I said "He plays." I knew with total certainty that the artist was a player because these pieces are phenomenologically real - meaning, they look like how a player's leg sometimes feels.  Both heroic and traumatized.  More soon!


  1. This artist looks like another great find. There needs to be tour of art this good that thematizes sport.

    I can't get over this blog. I want to put together an article on the ethics and phenomenology of fandom. I may run things by you once I have an outline.

  2. Hello, thank you & welcome to my blog! Of course - I am very happy to engage football related work of all sorts, and would love to learn what you are writing about. A friend of mine showed me Desmond Morris's "The Soccer Tribe" - while I do not like elements of that project (naturalizing football culture in terms of evolution & hunting - yike!) - the book is in and of itself a fantastic artifact, representative of the deep need for the intellectual fan to represent his passion to himself. The photos are extraordinary, and it's an engrossing read, even if it makes me completely furious. (The book could really use a critically savvy and self-conscience deployment of the word "tribe.") Here's a smart review of it:



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