Monday, March 15, 2010

Cricket sightings in the works of Gabriel Orozco

Why did I put up a post yesterday that merely linked to an article that talked about how you could catch cricket telecasts in the US? Because I still haven't been able to get past the feeling of pleasurable surprise when I stumble across any mention of cricket in an American context. It's another matter, of course, that more often than not, that initial pleasure turns into irritation (one of my earliest posts on Different Strokes was an expression of this emotion at the persistent, seemingly willful misrepresentation of cricket in the US media).

A long time ago, when I used to frequent the newsgroup there was a recurrent thread titled "Dead Sightings". Posters wrote about unexpected sightings (aural or visual) of the Grateful Dead. Perhaps someone had heard the Dead on a radio station that didn't normally play them; perhaps a news bulletin had shown a small clip of a Dead concert; and of course, there was the gold dust, perhaps a lucky fan had run into one of the musicians themselves. There are times I feel like that is how I still respond to cricket. It's a sighting of a rare bird, an exotic species in an unfamiliar clime. Perhaps this sort of sighting will become less rare as the IPL aids in the penetration of US media markets by cricket, but I suspect my reactions will persist for a while.

In any case, while IPL sightings have become more frequent, other kinds are still rare. Thus, I almost fell out of my chair over the weekend when, looking at an old issue of the New Yorker, I saw what looked like a photograph of Shaun Pollock. Looking closer, I saw it was embedded in an announcement of an exhibition of works (at the Museum of Modern Art in New York) by the Mexican artist Gabriel Orozco. Here is the image I am speaking of:

On digging further, I found yet another work by him that centers on cricket:

Again, I do not know the name of this work (I found these images at Bernardo Dominguez's blog on this page - thanks very much!). Full marks to anyone who can identify the batsmen and the occasion above. I'd also like help with naming the images if possible. I'm going to do some digging around, but in the meantime, if you are in the know, please do post a comment.

I'd have to say that this particular sighting of cricket must count as amongst the distinctive for me in recent times. I've caught bits of cricket on television and in the print media. But to see cricket appear in the works of a modern conceptual artist (not from a cricket playing country) is a very pleasant surprise.

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Blogger AgniHothra said...

The one going to the far side looks like Ajay Jadeja.The one getting run-out(or just made it) is probably Ganguly.The photo seems to circa 1990.Middle nineties,if the WILLS Logo is any indication

5:40 AM  
Blogger Samir Chopra said...

Agni: I agree with the Ganguly ID. I can't make out the other guy that well. Reasonable call overall - thanks!

5:01 PM  
Blogger Suhas said...

Quite a find, these images!

Yup, it definitely looks like Ganguly, and I agree with Agni on the Wills logo. My hunch is that this could be during his debut century at Lords - I looked up the scorecard, it turns out he and Jadeja did bat together, so Agni's observation helps my guess, I suppose.

1:42 AM  
Blogger Suhas said...

Samir, I went back your 2008 posts on 'Different Strokes' about your frustration at the stereotypical and limited depiction of cricket in the American media. I subscribe to the view that lack of exposure, and accessibility or coverage is the reason behind it all. It got me thinking, and I found it was all very similar to the way I felt about the perception of British comedy and sitcoms in the US (and India) as opposed to what the reality is. I'll be coming out with an 'analogy' post on the same. Thought you might be interested.

1:55 AM  
Blogger Samir Chopra said...

Suhas: I must be blind. I cannot see the Wills logo - and both Agni and yourself have! Anyway, I think the Lords test call also sounds like a good one - I'll check to see if there is a photo archive for that game somewhere.

As for cricket coverage in the US, I agree that a lack of proper exposure has doomed the game to a sort of peripheral existence. All of this is pretty ironic, when you consider that at one time the US along with Australia was one of the game's most flourishing sites.

Let me know when you put your post up.

7:01 AM  
Blogger Carlos Ochoa said...

The title of these pieces is "The Atomists" or "Los Atomistas" in Spanish. Not all of the pieces in Los Atomistas center on cricket, but they do all utilize sports images.

9:31 PM  
Blogger Samir Chopra said...

Carlos, thanks for that! Welcome to the blog. Not sure if you're a cricket fan, but welcome anyway. I'll try and check out more of the Los Atomistas series.

11:55 PM  

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