OLYMPISM MADE VISIBLE
About the Project:
Olympism Made Visible is a fine art photography initiative from the Olympic Foundation for Culture + Heritage. At its core, it is an artistic interpretation of the Foundation’s core values and their impact when sport is placed at the service of humankind through community-based development programs around the world. How does the practice of sport make a difference in people’s lives, from young girls and women in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro, to refugees in camps in Rwanda, to children living in extreme poverty in Cambodia, to other ordinary citizens across the globe? OMV explores these questions through the creative vision of artists working at the intersection of fine art and social documentary. Five continents, five stories, five unique artistic visions of the Olympic ideals of justice, equity, service, and peace. This is an ongoing commissioned project that began in the summer of 2018 with an inaugural exhibition that fall in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The next evolution of the project will include a further five artists exploring topics across five continents and with international exhibitions and presentations planned for 2020 and beyond.
The OFCH commissioned me to bring their idea to life. As the Artistic Director, I was intimately involved with every step of the creative, strategic, production and curatorial process. In the pre-production phase, I launched the project, defined the creative and visual direction, selected the artists for the focus areas and worked with the local organizations to further understand their missions. During the production, I travelled with each of the photographers (almost 60,000 miles and five continents working with Vanessa Winship in Liverpool, Alex Majoli in Rio de Janeiro, Lorenzo Vitturi in Phnom Penh, Nico Krijno at three different refugee camps in Rwanda and because of scheduling conflicts, Max Pinckers and I worked together from afar in Palau). I worked closely with each of the artists collaborating as we went on the creative direction, narrative structure and the conceptualization of their stories. The photographers’ challenge was to interpret the client’s mission from their distinctive creative perspective and tell these complex stories with nuance and depth. We wanted neither a traditional sport nor classical photojournalism approach to this work, rather we were seeking a creative interpretation with a very real narrative. As a curator, one of my challenges was to synthesize their distinct visual voices into one cohesive body of work that would live in symmetry with each other and contribute in telling a larger story of global development and social service. Once we were in the post-production phase I worked with the photographers on edits and storytelling structure and set about curating the exhibition and coordinating the huge logistical efforts of the many people involved from all corners of the globe (the OFCH team in Switzerland, the photographers and their studios in England, Italy, South Africa and Belgium, the framers, art handlers and local production team in Argentina and the design agency in NYC). We installed the exhibition in Buenos Aires in October 2018, just shy of five months from the launch of the project.
Artistic Director + Curator
The Olympic Foundation for Culture + Heritage / International Olympic Committee
Photographs by Vanessa Winship, Lorenzo Vitturi, Alex Majoli, Max Pinckers + Nico Krijno
Exhibition graphic identity + signage design by Order design, NYC
Custom framing by Marcos Lumen, Buenos Aires