Exhibition dates: 16 June – 11 July 2021
Opening Event: 5.30pm Friday 18 June 2021 (no bookings required)
Performances: 4 pm – 5 pm; Friday, 18 June 2021 – Sunday, 20 June 2021
To book tickets for a performance click here.
Location: Contemporary Art Tasmania
Within weeks of the Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony, we pause briefly to consider: are the Olympics fucked?
Guilty of profligate tax-payer spending, legitimising dictators, inflaming nationalist sentiment, and exploiting both players and bystanders, it’s time to reconsider our allegiance to this bloated cultural spectacle.
In an attempt to exorcise our love-hate relationship with the tarnished event, Pony Express are holding our own bootleg Olympiad. The gallery at CAT is transformed into a hand-made hyper-arena, where audiences can explore custom equipment and propaganda that exposes the unethical underbelly of international sport, and the growing protest movement to cancel the games forever.
Open to the public as an installation, this exhibition will also host a ticketed, multi-arts, multi-sport tournament over the course of three days. As artistic athletes, Pony Express will face-off in a punishing, condensed variation of 33 summer sports: from archery to wrestling, opening ceremony to closing ceremony. The artists act simultaneously as coaches, athletes, performers, spectators, and commentators, sparring with the beast of cultural boycott from the inside-out.
The Olympics are cancelled. Long Live the Olympics.
Pony Express is an experimental Live Art duo led by Ian Sinclair and Loren Kronemyer. Through a pandrogynous collaborative process, they work across media art, live art, transdisciplinary and cross-artform collaboration to create alternate realities exploring themes of adaptation, global weirding and the slow apocalypse. Pony Express’ Ecosexual Bathhouse premiered at Next Wave Festival in 2016 and toured to Liveworks Festival 2016; Perth Institute of Contemporary Art 2016; Dark MOFO 2017; Santarcangelo Festival (Italy) 2017; Forum of the Futuro (Portugal) 2017 and Interformat Symposium (Lithuania) 2018.
Abolish the Olympics is presented by Contemporary Art Tasmania. This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body, and is assisted through Arts Tasmania by the Minister for the Arts.
Official Abolish The Olympics Team Uniforms by Hickey Hardware
Official Arena Audiovisual Design by Hosting
Arena Wrangler: Sophie Ambler
Livestream team: Joseph Shrimpton and Jacob Collings
Image credit: Abolish the Olympics by Pony Express, photo by Julian Frichot