Sculpture / Photos: Joost Guntenaar / 8 x 9 m / Wood / 2008

San Sebastian I-II

Culture doesn’t start as a game or as a result of a game, but through playing the game.
Huizinga, Homo Ludens 1938

This story of Saint Sebastian became famous partly because it gave the opportunity to transform the male body into a visual spectacle. As in the expression ‘shooting pictures’, the story of Saint Sebastian indicates a strong connection between the shooting and the viewing: a shot is considered successful when it hits the exact spot the eye is focusing on. The spectacle, e.g. game, attains its value the moment it is being perceived.

One of the reasons the story of St Sebastian gained notoriety was because of the spectacle of piercing a male body with arrows.In this work the scene literally strikes the spectator as they peek through a small window into a room where an enormous model of a Jackstraws game is in play. Through manipulation and mimesis of reality the artist invites the spectator to enter into an ambiguous game of recognition and alienation.

The Chapel of Saint Sebastian, Amsterdam