Friday, March 19, 2010

Grip by Erik Levine at the La Jolla Museum of Contemporary Art

Photo copyright of Ingrid Mida 2008

This photo is not from the video installation Grip by Erik Levine at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego in La Jolla but it could be. As soon as I entered the screening room, I was instantly struck by the power of Erik Levine's work. Two life size screens portray the frustration and anger of young junior boy tennis players as they attempt to get a grip on their game after bad plays, bad calls and bad results. The placement of the bench between the screens forces the viewer to turn one's head between the screens just like in a real tennis match. This work literally wrenched my heart and took me back in time.

This is what Erik writes about this piece:
"Grip reveals the compelling and complex psychological tug-of-war as boys struggle with fear through the prism of athletic competition. This despair can lead to extreme expressions of anger and frustration at a time in their lives when perspective can often be elusive and alludes to the startling and revealig analogous microcosm for life outside the demarcations and boundaries of the playing field."

If you cannot get the the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego this weekend, you can see Erik Levine's video Grip on his website here. It is not quite the same thing as seeing it on life-sized screens, but it is compelling none the less. 

Grip by Erik Levine on until March 21, 2010 at

700 Prospect Street
La Jolla, CA 92037