then all of sudden there was an interest.‘ says Buchanan. ‘lt caught people‘s imaginations. and in society in general. in the last ten years. sport has absolutely sky rocketed. so it makes sense that sport within art has followed too.‘
When he first began to make works about sport. Buchanan felt that it still looked awkward in the art gallery with its reference to low culture. But much has changed since then. You only have to look at the iconic status of David Beckham. ‘When I was making my first work. it was all standing in the terraces at the football games.’ says Buchanan. 'Now it‘s all heated seats. croissants and chicken legs.” Unlike many other artists making work about sport. Buchanan doesn‘t have a cynical perspective. ‘That‘s not the way I’ve gone about it at all. I wanted to make things from within the culture as a peer myself.‘
For the DCA. Buchanan has been
given the opportunity to work in film. Something he is very excited about. Out is a two-minute film documenting a single in-line skater (not a skateboarder as Buchanan quickly points out. adding that he‘s no time for them) which was created in an urban car park in Dundee. Buchanan has taken great pleasure from his first adventure in film. not just in the filming. but in the editing as well.
‘To go back to a desk and edit it is. in a sense. my equivalent of what Alison Watt is doing when she's painting that cloth. going into it with so much detail.~ he says. ‘You could take a photograph of that cloth and you would be able to somehow appreciate what‘s going on with those folds but somehow the paint allows you to look at it longer and that applies to film.’
Along with the Work In Progress which photographed amateur footballers in AC and Inter Milan
Left to right: Coast To Coast. Dennistoun 1997-present; Gobstopper 1999; Work in progess 1995 and the artist below
football strips and Coast To Coast. Dennistozm. a series of photographs which captures on film anyone wearing baseball caps bearing the logo of a North American club. Buchanan shows his new sculptural work Dead Wag/it. Here. visitors will be able physically to hold the weights of boxers who were knocked out in the first round.
You get the impression that for Buchanan. sport is just as important as his art. He concedes that at the age of 34. his chances of playing for Scotland are diminishing. '1 hope always to be playing sport.‘ he adds. ‘For me. the most electrifying moments are playing it myself. that perfect pass. That really sustains you emotionally for a long. long time and that's what I’m trying to communicate.‘
Players: Roderick Buchanan opens at Dundee Contemporary Arts on Sat 25 Nov.
16—30 Nov 2000 THE LIST 17