BAC Agility Projects presents:
Quiet Please: The Mental Game of Art and Tennis
July 30 – August 28, 2016
As part of The Agility Projects series, Berkeley Art Center is proud to present Quiet Please, an exhibition that examines the call and response relationship between artist and viewer using the sport of tennis as a metaphor to this exchange. Artists Libby Black, Jennie Ottinger, George Pfau, and Andrew Witrak present drawings, sculpture and animation that use tennis as a way to comment on human psychology: presentation, elitism, communication, and catharsis.
Like many sports, there are myriad rules and customs that apply to the game of tennis. A distinct quality of match play is the on-court etiquette and ritual—a play of manners and class (or lack thereof). And like the artistic process, there is an opportunity to come from one point away from defeat, to win the match. The aim of good tennis playing is to get out of your head, and trust your body and strokes—to achieve a sort of Zen looseness. On the other hand, as in creating a body of work in the art studio, one can be plagued by self-doubt, second-guessing, and the sometimes complete derailment of one's game.
The history of the sport is significant in that, although it is possible to be played on public courts, it has an elitist reputation. Dating back to the 1860s tennis is an international sport that conjures up snotty clubs and white sweaters. There are comparisons to be drawn between the impenetrable art markets and country club memberships where tennis is often played.