Ghostplay

Ghostplay

by Eric Payson
     
 

Beginning with Bobcats, depicting the rites of passage of a girls’ softball team, and moving to Gladiators, displaying basketball in a combative pit of racial divide, photographer Eric Payson has gone one step further in his exploration of the media and America’s obsession with sports as entertainment, voyeurism, and violence withSee more details below

Overview

Beginning with Bobcats, depicting the rites of passage of a girls’ softball team, and moving to Gladiators, displaying basketball in a combative pit of racial divide, photographer Eric Payson has gone one step further in his exploration of the media and America’s obsession with sports as entertainment, voyeurism, and violence with Ghostplay.

In Payson’s electrifying new work, college football’s raw beauty rises to the surface in photographs taken directly from the television screen; images morph into each other and expressions are magnified as they are frozen in time. Ghostplay examines the media that transmits it all, as the broadcasters and corporate sponsors appear as much a part of the game as the athletes and coaches. Interspersed with intrusive news bulletins, overeager cheerleaders, anxious spectators, and seemingly malicious data on the athletes’ injuries, college football appears to be a forum for adolescent violence and pervasive adult greed. In these images, the game dissolves as the ghost in the machine of the American media is captured by Payson’s camera. Ghostplay reveals the suspicion and intrigue lurking between the stadium seats, played out in the television control rooms, and hovering in the lower levels of our consciousness.

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Editorial Reviews

Anthem
"Looking at these photos seems almost voyeuristic, with the projection lines and greenish tint lending them a security camera air. It evokes a creepy, future-imperfect feel, and the camera's ability to capture the television's transitional images, the in-between times that the brain filters, gives the frames a rawer and more personal feel, rendering the subjects extremely vulnerable. Each shot of the television captures more motion than a camera at a live event would, and renders each picture simultaneously alien in nature and extremely organic in content."
Publishers Weekly - Publishers Weekly
As Holborn points out in his brief editorial note, this "is not a book about college football." This is a curious claim, given that photographer Payson has produced a book entirely composed of shots of his television screen during college football broadcasts, but even a casual glance at the images within bears out Holborn's statement. The third in a trilogy of sports-themed photographic projects, along with Bobcats and Gladiators (which feature images of a girls' softball team and screen shots of televised professional basketball games, respectively), this volume places the typical weekend gridiron contest in the realm of abstraction. In fact, the more abstract images are also the most effective; overlapping and blurred television graphics create eerie frozen-time effects, and players, arrested in mid-tackle, become formless wraiths. Unfortunately, far too many of these photographs look exactly like what they are: pictures of people on television. While one is tempted to presume that these pictures of corporate logos or foolish-looking sportscasters are meant to make some statement about the intertwining of commodity, personality and violence, what exactly that criticism might be is left to the reader. The result is an uneven collection that alternates between images of compelling, dreamlike beauty and affectless pictures of someone's TV. (Jan.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781576872710
Publisher:
powerHouse Books
Publication date:
11/07/2005
Pages:
156
Product dimensions:
6.50(w) x 8.70(h) x 0.90(d)

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