"The strength, speed, fearlessness and aggression it takes to be a good soccer player do not coincide with either traditional femininity or the image of woman as victim."
Spelplan Landskrona Konsthall is now showing its first exhibition. An exhibition that pushes the boundaries between artists, actors and visitors.
Late-evening visitors to Slottsparken in Landskrona might well believe the museum has been converted to a gym for women who play soccer and practice karate. They can see how training is underway behind the vast, veiled windows. Once inside though, they see the training is actually projected shadows that are part of artists Elisabet Apelmo and Marit Lindberg’s exhibition Marked, Unmarked.
Sociologist Pierre Bourdieu believes that the female existence is constituted through male superordination as a perceived object, an object for others to look at. The negative collective expectations of women’s physical ability tends to become part of the body, expressed as permanent states of affairs. Bourdieu discusses sports as a means of changing these states. Intensive practice of sports “leads to a profound transformation of the subjective and objective experience of the body. [...] It [the body] is no longer merely a thing that is made to be looked at or which one has to look at in order to prepare it to be looked at. Instead of being a body for others it becomes a body for oneself; the passive body becomes an active and acting body” writes Bourdieu. Through the practice of sports, the passive and objectified woman becomes an active, and de facto stronger, subject. Sports may also function as one form of resistance against traditional femininity, wherein the risk of be ing the victim of male violence seems to be an accepted ingredient.
Karate is a concrete form of resistance, a martial art of self-defense. Can soccer be used as a more complex picture of resistance? Even though it is the most popular sport among women in Sweden, women soccer players are paradoxically enough considered unfeminine, mannish, or lesbian. The strength, speed, fearlessness and aggression it takes to be a good soccer player do not coincide with either traditional femininity or the image of woman as victim.
Video, sound and exercise
Elisabet Apelmo and Marit Lindberg
SE-261 31 LANDSKRONA