In what can only be considered an obviously deliberate omission, contemporary art on the whole tends to avoid sports as a subject matter. Sure there's the occasional Koons basketball, Gordon/Parreno epic, or Artspace multiple but beyond that not an awful lot.
Except, it would seem, when it comes to ping pong. Over_the_net has shown a commitment, as has the Goethe Institute, and at least one Wellington dealer is a fan. But now it has gone global: this from Artinfo.com:
"On Wednesday January 28, the New York exhibition space Nyehaus will present its first-ever invitational table-tennis tournament in conjunction with its current exhibition, Rirkrit Tiravanija: Reflection, on view through February 21.
Celebrities of the ping-pong world, including Marty Reisman, the U.S. men’s singles champion in 1958 and ’60, and the identical twins Brad & Brandon Belle, will play matches against one other and with spectators on Tiravanija’s mirrored, regulation-sized table, Untitled (The Future will be Chrome) (2008).
Should you choose to come and see the match, you'll be joined by art-worlders Phillipe Parreno, Pierre Huyghe, Liam Gillick, and Hans Ulrich Obrist — puppet versions of whom appear on a grandstand installation surrounding the table.
In addition to Wednesday night's event, Filipino table tennis star Ernesto Ebuen will be available for private or group lessons for the duration of the exhibit.
If ever a touring exhibition had City Gallery written all over it...
Pic: Rirkrit Tiravanija, "Untitled (The Future will be Chrome)" (2008)