Front Cover
Mark Holborn
powerHouse Cultural Entertainment, Incorporated, 2004 - Sports & Recreation - 128 pages
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"Payson's photographs of the NBA playoffs, I soon realized, are deeply woven into this paranoid, paranormal, paramedia web. From April through June 2001, Payson watched every game in the playoffs, camera glued to his eye, through the final triumph of the Lakers over the Sixers. He shot about two hundred rolls of color film, which amounts to over 3,200 frames. A selection of about ninety is reproduced here. Mostly photographed off an eighty-inch projection-screen TV, they are indelible impressions of the ghost in the machine of American image culture."
--Mia Fineman
A riveting journey deep into the dark heart of the American Dream, Eric Payson's "Gladiators" are photographs of the 2001 NBA playoffs shot off a wide-screen television. These pictures are about more than mere basketball--they explore our obsession with entertainment and voyeurism, expose our lust for the controlled violence and stylized pageantry of spectator sports, investigate the innate themes of racial politics and male bonding, and examine the electronic medium that transmits it all. Payson, a child of the American media, turned his living room TV screen into a virtual box seat at the Roman Colosseum to create "Gladiators," a compelling examination of our fixation with professional sports.

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About the author (2004)

Eric Payson is a photographer and performance artist. Solo exhibitions of his photographs have been mounted at Galerie Bodo Niemann, Berlin and Rene Fotouhl Fine Art. East Hampton, New York, Payson's trilogy of powerHouse Books include Ghostplay, Gladiators, and Bobcats (2005, 2004, and 2002, respectively). He lives in New York.

Mia Fineman is a writer and curator in New York. She is the author of When Elephants Paint: The Quest of Two Russian Artists to Save the Elephants of Thailand and has contributed essays to monographs on Walker Evans, Richard Avedon, Gabriel Orozco, Sean Scully, and others. Her writing on art appears regularly in the New York Times and Slate.

Eikoh Hosoe was born in 1933 and established his reputation as a leading Japanese photographer following the publication of his first book "Man and Woman" in 1961. He received international attention with the publication of his portraits of the writer Yukio Mishima in "Barakei: Killed by Roses" in 1963. His other books include "Kamaitachi "(1968), "Embrace "(1971), and a recent study of the Spanish architect Gaudi (1984). He is professor of the Tokyo Institute of Polytechnics. A new edition of" Barakei "was published by Aperture in 1985.
Shomei Tomatsu was born in 1930 and has established a reputation internationally with a form of photography which is both intensely personal and documentary. His first book "11:02 Nagasaki" (1966) revealed his extraordinary vision. His work forms a remarkable document of postwar Japan and has influenced many Japanese photographers. His recent books "The Pencil of the Sun" (1979) and" Sparkling Winds" (1979) reveal his interest in the island communities of Okinawa. His work has been included in many international exhibitions and a major retrospective of his work was held in Graz, Austria, in 1984.
Masahisa Fukase was born in 1934 and published his first book "Homo Ludence "in 1971. His work was included in the exhibition New Japanese Photography at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, in 1974. Much of a long narrative series of "Crow" was included in his book "Yokho" (1978). Many of the photographs were exhibited in "Neue Fotografie Aus Japan" in 1976 and "Japan: A Self Portrait "at the International Center of Photography, New York, in 1979.
Daido Moriyama was born in 1938 and has worked as a graphic designer and as an assistant to EikohHosoe. His work has been included in all of the international exhibitions of Japanese photography and his original style has greatly affected the course of modern photography in Japan. He has published many books in Japan and his first book of essays, "Inunokioku" (Dog Memories) was published in Tokyo in 1984.
Mark Holborn was born in London in 1949. He is Editor of "Aperture" and is presently living in New York. His book on Japanese landscape, "The Ocean in the Sand," was published in 1978. He has written texts for "Beyond A Portrait: Dorothy Norman and Alfred Stieglitz "(Aperture, 1984) and "Barakei," Eikoh Hosoe's photographs of Yukio Mishima (Aperture, 1985). He is preparing a text for a book on Butoh, a form of contemporary Japanese dance, to be published by Aperture in 1986.

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