TROPHY – object
Basketball is the most popular sport in the Philippines. ‘Trophy - object’, a site-responsive work is a subverted vintage American basketball trophy that dates back to 1946 — the year the Philippines gained independence from the United States. It reacts to the history of basketball in the Philippines where sports were used as an imperialist pedagogical tool that aims to make maximum use of local human resource through instilling ‘muscular Christianity’. These are reflected in Lou Antolihao’s 'Playing with the Big Boys: Basketball, American Imperialism, and Subaltern Discourse in the Philippines' and F. C. Buffington’s 'Physical Training for Fillipinos’.
Central to the work is the sweat collected using shirts worn during the basketball games of a local community, later processed and crystalized into 'sweat-salt'. This 'sweat-salt' was then cast to form the vintage trophy’s base, using the original trophy as a cavity for moulding. The 'sweat-salt' evokes ideas of collective labour, tension and physicality. This material is caught interplaying against the iconography of trophy as a symbol of achievement, victory, and as observed in ancient warfare, conquest.
The modified trophy weighs down the pile of shirts worn during basketball games of the player’s community in Bagong Silang.
In collaboration with: Ericson Velez and basketball community of Bagong Silang, Caloocan, Metro Manila, Philippines
Media: Vintage America basketball trophy; sweat-salt; epoxy resin; 10 shirts
Sweat-collection with basketball community in Bagong Silang Phase 7C, Calacoon, Metro Manila, Philippines
From sweat to 'sweat-salt'