I produced these 50 “insult baseballs” as a participatory project for the 2019 Terrain Biennial Evanston. They were scattered in the lawn of hosts Purvi Shah and Bryce Johnson at 1811 Wesley Ave. in Evanston -- visitors were invited to stop by and take a free work of art home. Something of a language exercise, each ball was inscribed with an insulting word drawn from a variety of different cultures, historical eras, works of the imagination, and elsewhere. Thanks to Linda Scaccia, who donated a great many of the baseballs, to Mat Rappaport for the invite and to Terrain Exhibitions/ Terrain Biennial for all the heavy lifting to get this year’s iteration off the ground.
Project statement: "An object going back nearly two centuries, the baseball as a cultural artifact, and the act of applying one’s signature to one as an act of memorialization, is a purely American phenomenon. In fact, intended to endow the object with inspiration and a sense of accomplishment, historically they radiate positivity and a sense of a bootstrapping, “can do” spirit. For the Terrain Biennial, I will produce a series of “signed” baseballs inscribed not with positivist, starry-eyed messages, but with decontextualized short phrases and insults. Strewn throughout the host’s yard, these insult baseballs are free to take by members of the visiting public. On the reverse of the ball will be stamped instructions to feel free to take the ball, but ask if they do so, to post a photograph of it to their social media, tagging the artist and the Terrain Biennial in the post."
PLease click a thumbnail below to enlarge.