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TOOTH AND NAIL

Gnashing teeth, bloody fists–Philadelphia artist Christopher Capriotti implodes the white cube with startling intensity. His  title (2016) is a searing take at the socioeconomic power divisions and uncomfortable complicity of all parties that underlie spectacle. Barely separated from the complacent gallery throng, the ring represents a violent almost utopian authenticity, with fighters of both genders connecting in the most immediate and instinctive way possible by literally connecting fists and drawing blood. The risk in such physicality transcends performance; footage can be found here.

Some logistical details:
“The performance itself is a six round bareknuckle boxing match. There are twelve fighters: six women and six men, only paired with members of the same gender. The first round starts with just one pair, and each round another pair is added to the ring, but for the remainder of the match they only fight the person they entered with. So, the first pair is in for six rounds, the second five, etc. Each round is 35 seconds, followed by a 30 second break. The performance concludes at the end of six rounds, and all winners (unless there is a knockout) are determined by the audience. The fight is structured using a version of the 1853 London Prize Ring rules for boxing, which were the first standardized rules for fighting in the western world, updated and edited to fit our needs.”

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