Sportivo Utopia


Sportivo Utopia

Sportivo Utopia

Leila Rose & Kim Kertesz, Yahav Gal & Hadas Hay, Ilana Hoffmann, Ilana Taieb Hagerty, Officer Az-Oolay, Jackie Pearl, Avi Krispin, Shir Raz

with the participation of Clown X and Great Gehenna Choir

curators: Sala-Manca

”The world is now too dangerous for anything less than utopia.” — R. Buckminster Fuller

Sportivo Utopia was born as a football club without players. Initially, there were words, anthems, and the desire to be together (the Sala-Manca group, Clown x, and the Great Gehenna Choir). Then, similar to the training camps before the World Cup games, a group of artists met for an intensive residency to fulfill the vision of Sportivo Utopia – a non-competitive sports club that encourages all people through passions, interpretations, research, and interdisciplinary practices of each member of the group.

Sportivo Utopia is a space for meeting and sharing that allows experiencing a variety of artworks, some of which are infrastructures and facilities of the club. It also allows participating in various training sessions that will take place during the club’s activities, which is also an exhibition, or the exhibition that is also a club. Sportivo Utopia was born following an intensive artist residency program held at the Mamuta Art and Research Center in recent months.

As part of the club, Officer Az-Oolay designed a space for a journey of training in the heart’s airport, including training in falling abilities and transcendence; Ilana Taieb Hagerty established a greenhouse for growing hypertrophic tomatoes, echoing the phenomenon of muscle overgrowth due to injury or aesthetic aspiration, clashing with questions of natural and healthy versus artificial and beautiful concepts; Avi Krispin presents video works and sculptures inspired by sports fans’ cheering rituals. In a video watched during a gym session at the club, a desperate cheerleader holding a pompom with oversized dimensions appears, alternating between encouraging and discouraging. Not far from there stand sculptures of sports trophies consuming themselves; Yahav Gal and Hadas Hay began training and playing tennis together in the past year. The commitment to sports training combined with beer drinking and smoking led to the creation of an installation in which tennis is played with mechanical alter-egos, aiming for the infinite; at the entrance to the club, a sculpture by Ilana Hoffmann is displayed as a tribute to the stars of Sportivo Utopia, featuring photographs of the body memory of participants in the residency while examining various and contradictory aspects of the photographed individuals; Jackie Pearl created, in collaboration with Nimrod Zin a video triptych describing the relationship of three figures with the athletic body through addressing gender, dreams, and failure; in the last room of the club, Leila Rose and Kim Kertesz established an “after” space with a Jacuzzi filled partly with Tel Aviv sea water, brought as a tribute to Jerusalemites devoid of a coastline, alongside a beverage bar. Various performance and music events will take place at the club; on the wall in the Jacuzzi room, Shir Raz presents ceramic tiles with a map of an imaginary world – a collage of thumb tributes that turn upwards or downwards, taken from a painting of a gladiator scene of a painting by Jean-Léon Gérôme from 1872 and multiplied countless times.

The club was planned to be founded before the ongoing disaster in which we are still engulfed. Its establishment was postponed until the need to adhere to utopia and train for its realization overcame reality, and the aspiration for a more open world, not confined to a single vision but able to contain many utopias, became a tangible pursuit, expressing a longing for days of crises and small occupations, days when life is celebrated, days when life is a supreme value.

Opening Hours: Tue-Thu: 13:00-18:00, Fri 10:00-14:00

Opening event: 17.5, 12:00. Officer Az-Oolay, Ilana Hoffmann, Leila Rose & Kim Kertesz will Perform at the event

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** The jacuzzi in the club is active, you can come with a bathing suit and towel . The use of the jacuzzi at the opening event is based on availability and subject to compliance with the club’s guidelines

Curators assistant and project coordinator: Naama Mokady | Events assistant: Olga Nefedova | Technical director and exhibition setup: Eitan Haviv | Exhibition space coordinator: Gaya Or-Ner Adani | Arabic translation: Anwar Ben Badis | Hebrew editing: Ronit Rosenthal | Graphic design: Maya Shleifer 

Thanks to the Israel Ministry of Culture and Sport, Miffal Hapays and to the Jerusalem Municipality for their generous support for this exhibition

Closing: 5.7.24