The Beautiful Game – a roving performance at New Farm Park

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Two giant footballs, a roaming field and a surreal landscape of boulders and cakes: step up Brisbane and play The Beautiful Game

What: The Beautiful Game

When: Saturday 7th April, 2:45pm

Where: New Farm Park, New Farm

Duration: 1 hour

Bookings: FREE, to register to play click here. No registration required to watch, supporters welcome!

Brisbane Northsiders will be pitted against Southsiders on Saturday 7 April in The Beautiful Game – a roving performance at New Farm Park, as part of Women of the World (WOW) at Festival 2018.

Women and non-binary people of all ages are invited to participate and find their fierce side on the field, with a nod to the unruly, medieval origins of the world’s most popular sport. In celebration of Australian women’s recent sporting victories, The Beautiful Game parodies contemporary football’s hyper-masculinity.

This public space activation is designed by artist duo Snapcat (Renae Coles & Anna Dunnill) and is next in the series for Commotion: Brisbane City Council’s Temporary Art Program – a year-long program of live art activations taking place in public spaces across Brisbane in 2018. Produced by people+artist+place, the inaugural program will ignite conversations about temporary public art and community self-expression through a collection of artworks that promote participation and community involvement.

Hailing from Melbourne and Sydney, Snapcat have developed this version of football in response to some Brisbane-specific research. Commenting on the long-standing rivalry between Brisbane’s north and south, participants are being asked to choose their allegiance upon registering. The two teams will be named the Southside Tuffs, after Brisbane Tuff – a colourful rock unique to Kangaroo Point, and the Northside Lamingtons – after the coconut-dusted cake allegedly first made for Lord and Lady Lamington at Government House.

“The project started when we discovered ‘folk’ or ‘mob’ football, a rough medieval ball game that’s thought to have began in England and France in the 14th century,” Snapcat explained.

“The game was played annually between neighbouring towns and roamed across streets and through countryside until the ball was successfully kicked through the threshold of the opposing town’s churchyard.

“In our version, we wanted to specifically place women and non-binary people on the field – where they have long been excluded.”

In the game’s many contemporary forms, including gridiron, rugby and Australian Rules, the unruly roots of football and its simulation of battle are never far from the surface (among players and fans alike). The Beautiful Game parodies the hypermasculinity of football, by dressing players in colourful foam ‘armour’, creating a joyful and humorous space for women and non-binary people to be competitive, fierce and work together to achieve a common goal.

The Commotion activations aim to expand public perception of what contemporary and temporary public art is. people+artist+place co-directors Jenna Green and Marisa Georgiou describe The Beautiful Game as a highly playful and colourful inclusion in the 2018 program.

“We are so excited to bring interstate artists Snapcat to Brisbane to exemplify what community engagement can look like in contemporary art practice,” the duo said.

“Participation on the field is for female-identifying and non-binary folks – cheering your head off for your team is for everyone.”

WOW executive producer in Australia Cathy Hunt said she was excited to see The Beautiful Game.

“This is the first Commonwealth Games in which the same number of gold medals are up for grabs for women and men and new professional women’s competitions including Australian Rules Football and the Rugby Union Sevens are thriving,” said Ms Hunt.

“We’re so excited socially engaged artists like Snapcat are involved in WOW, and we hope The Beautiful Game sparks important discussions on what’s next on the agenda for women and sport.”

Sign up through the following link: http://bit.ly/2plBAoh or just turn up to watch the spectacle!

Children under 16 are encouraged to join but must be accompanied by an adult.

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