Organizers of first ever Olympic PRIDE House, which will operate in both Whistler and Vancouver during the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, have announced the acquisition of Slapshotolus, a bronze sculpture of a nude hockey player by Alberta artist Edmund Haakonson. The sculpture will take centre stage at the PRIDE House in Whistler.
“We are so honored to be able to have such a beautiful and moving piece of art to be one of our centre pieces at the 2010 Pride House,” says Dean Nelson, CEO of GayWhistler. “The inspiration and story behind Slapshotolus is perfectly aligned with the values and objectives of the Pride House.”
With the sculpture, Haakonson has taken a classical Greek image and given it a twenty-first century make over with its modern face. In the process of producing of the work, Haakonson discovered a strong resemblance between the pose of a hockey player drawn back to take a slap shot and the pose of the ancient Greek sculpture of the Discus Thrower which increases the connection between ancient and modern.
“There is also an element honouring the Canadian sense of humour as expressed in popular television with shows like This Hour Has Twenty Two Minutes, Royal Canadian Air Farce and Rent a Goalie. The image of ancient nude sculpture makes perfect sense to us, the image of a hockey player makes perfect sense, the hybrid of the two has a decidedly amusing result. There is an element of the absurd in a hockey player wearing only skates, gloves and helmet, especially for anyone who has actually played hockey. There is however, no conflict in the absolutely serious and the humourous co-existing in a single work, I would suggest that it reflects the true reality of life.” The artist continues, “I would like to applaud GayWhistler for their foresight in creating a venue, Pride House, to be part of the Olympic & Paralympic Winter Games. I believe that this sculpture would be extraordinarily appropriate for that venue.”
PRIDE House Whistler will be open from February 8th through to March 21st. Visit http://www.pridehouse.ca for more information.