Sandy Gibbs

Stadium walk (opening ceremony) (2018)

2 min 18 secSingle channel / Digital Video / Colour / Sound

"Walking into that Olympic stadium in Mexico was like walking into a myth. It was eerily quiet—the kind of emptied-out quiet that only big stadiums can muster when no one is there. By contrast, every sound I made was amplified: my ragged breathing, the crunch of footsteps on the track, every flick and ripple of the flag, and the swish-swish of my arm as I waved at the empty seats. I was living the dream, my childhood fantasy of making it to the Olympics!

I am transfixed by these close-ups: by my facial gestures, my attempts to smile, trying hard not to cry, a denial of vulnerability, and then finally—losing the battle—I cry. Caught off guard, I’m embarrassed that I look so very old, and I’m embarrassed by my exposure, my failure to control my emotions. My tears are real, however I am not sad. Instead, my display of emotion is poised on a cusp between pathos and absurdity, for written on my face is also the tearful delight and relief of finally fulfilling my fantasy of making it to the Olympics—albeit too late, too old, too past-it, but buoyed by my enduring and optimistic belief in the fantasy."

—Artist's statement

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