new-york

Paul Pfeiffer, Playroom, 2012, steel, glass one-way mirror, wood, MDF, fabric, upholstery, lights, 62 1/4 x 72 x 30".

Paul Pfeiffer

Paula Cooper Gallery | 529 West 21st Street

Paul Pfeiffer, Playroom, 2012, steel, glass one-way mirror, wood, MDF, fabric, upholstery, lights, 62 1/4 x 72 x 30".

To Johan Huizinga, author of the classic 1938 study Homo Ludens, it is the healthy, energetic civilization that is able to constantly engender new forms of play, whereas in decadent societies, highly organized systems of recreation and amusement become mere formal games. With its concise group of works, all from 2012, Paul Pfeiffer’s exhibition “Playroom” explored the spectrum of modernity’s forms of play, from “free,” fun and pleasurable activities to codified competitions in which profit or passive entertainment seem to be the motivating impetus.

The most mesmerizing of these works is 100 Point Game, a digitally altered video transferred to a 16-mm film loop. In its four and a half minutes, 100 Point Game follows the arc of fifty “nothing but net” jump shots in professional basketball games. Yet Pfeiffer has digitally removed each basketball so that the camera seems to pan and

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