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Magnum Sport: Icons & The Everyday
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July 31, 2012
by Magnum Photographers
The exhibition - located over two central Birmingham sites at Colmore Square and the new Church Street Square - features seventy extraordinary photographs by some of the world’s leading documentary photographers.
Presented to coincide with the London 2012 Olympics, the exhibition shows sport as a truly universal language which knows no borders; sport as an activity which bridges social, religious, cultural & gender divides and sport as part of, not separate from everyday life.
The exhibition presents the ordinary with the extraordinary; portraits of sporting greats such as Thomas Hoepker’s immortalization of Muhammad Ali and Christopher Anderson’s portrait of Lance Armstrong are juxtaposed with contemplative moments by Chris Steele-Perkins of a family playing together in the British sunshine and a ‘dad’s sack race’ at a Welsh sports day by David Hurn. Magnum’s early engagement with sport as a national event is also included through photographs such as Robert Capa’s 1935 Tour de France and Werner Bischof’s portrayal of a Japanese sumo wrestling match, taken in 1951.
Sport as a global phenomenon is celebrated throughout the exhibition; Eve Arnold’s Mongolian equestrian acrobats, Susan Meiselas’ portrait of Kenyan athlete Tegla Loroupe and Miguel Rio Branco’s Brazilian Capoiera artists. In acknowledgment of the London 2012 Olympics, the exhibition features imagery from past Olympic events, including the renowned Mexican games in 1968 by Raymond Depardon and Harry Gruyaert’s contemporary documentation of TV shots appropriated from Munich in 1972.
Magnum Photos is a photographic cooperative of great diversity and distinction owned by its photographer members. With powerful individual vision, Magnum photographers chronicle the world and interpret its people’s events, issues and personalities. The Library of Birmingham houses a nationally and internationally significant collection of over three million photographic images. Opening in September 2013 it will include a state-of-the-art exhibition gallery and new online facilities, helping to increase public access to these collections.
Over the last five years the Library has worked in partnership with private and public sector partners including the Colmore Business District, Birmingham City University and Magnum Photos to deliver a series of major outdoor photography exhibitions which have brought work from its collections and work by photographers of international repute onto the streets of Birmingham.
Colmore Business District
Church Street Square
Birmingham B3 2NP
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