EASTERNSPORTS; A” FOUR-CHANNEL, MULTILINGUAL SOAP OPERA”

November 25, 2014 6:14 PM

The ICA Philadelphia has truly unique piece on display titled Easternsports: a “four-channel, multilingual soap opera.” For the stars of the video installation and first time collaborators, Jayson Musson and Alex da Corte’s Easternsports is a melting pot of pop culture references with diverse inspirations.  Easternsports references everything from hip-hop emcees Ja Rule and Missy Elliot to puppeteer Jim Henson to Spanish novel Don Quixote and ballet.  Amidst these vast references, Easternsports centers its inspiration on Thornton Wilder’s 1938 three-act play Our Town.    

Where Our Town depicts the everyday lives of two average townspeople falling in love, Musson and da Corte’s Easternsports disregards the norm in favor of a humorous, pop-infused world full of neon colors in their in-the-round video installation.  The video’s title comes from a poem by Musson where he makes “reference to a westerner’s knowledge of Buddhism as “easternsports.”  Musson’s script, directed by da Corte, draws from this idea of Westerners trying on ideologies and “thus reducing them to…a light pastime much akin to sports.”  In addition to questioning the trying of ideologies like clothing, the installation questions how one’s desires and reality define one’s actions and the relics that form these actions.  Accompanying the two and half hour video is a soundtrack scored by Blood Orange’s Dev Hynes.  

Easternsports is on display at the ICA Philadelphia until December 28, 2014.  

 

WRITTEN BY: EMILY DOOLEY

PHOTO CREDIT: INSTITUTE OF CONTEMPORARY ART UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA

 

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