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Deveron Projects

The Town Is The Venue
Where do our artists come from? Where do our artists come from?

Roderick Buchanan

Salon des Refusés: ARTCUP

2006

Winning isn't everything. There should be no
conceit in victory and no despair in defeat.
Matt Busby, Manager of Manchester United between 1945 and 1969
A project bringing two teams of artists/footballers together during the World Cup in Germany

Roderick was in residence with Deveron Projects during the 2006 World Cup, developing his ARTCUP project with Nuno Sacramento.

During the world cup staged in Germany, there was a lot of local interest in the game, but also disappointment that Scotland did not make the cut. The divide between the worlds of football and art has been apparent to many people interested in both of the two pursuits, such as Roddy and Nuno. Roddy acknowledges both an emphasis on the expectations placed on solely pursuing artistic and intellectual goals while developing as an artist, and a general belief that artists are not meant to engage with football. Why is it expected that passions diverge and how can they be reconciled?

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After holding competitions in Lisbon, Helsinki and Belgrade, ARTCUP came to Huntly, Scotland. The two teams, made up of professional footballers and artists, selected to play were Scotland and Denmark - both of whom failed to qualify for the World Cup. This a priori acknowledgment of failure allowed the teams to focus more on the game itself and how it is played - with the element of direct competition, to some extent, removed. It should be added however, that football's inherent competitive spirit was still apparent as a foundational mechanism of the game.

Roddy has often regarded the meanings of the games we play recreationally as an expression of identity. Through games we compete not only with others, but also ourselves - this ongoing commitment to aspiration, knowing yourself, and personal development is a shared quality in the world of games and that of art-making. The apparent divide between football and art unfortunately represents the current culture of specialisation, where individuals are expected to engage and excel in a single discipline. Through creatively engaging with their own passions, Nuno and Roddy make it clear that values of disciplines are transferable, while also shattering any illusion of how a person interested in art, or football, is supposed to act. The children of 12 Aberdeenshire primary schools who also attended and participated in a concurrent mini world cup tournament could similarly share a pitch with their diverse peers, united by a common set of values for the duration of a game.

The ARTCUP was also complemented by a visual arts exhibition, Salon des Refusés, which was held in all the nooks and crannies of the Huntly FC premises.

     

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