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Rich Wade : Draw A Squared Circle


This body of work looks at the world of independent professional wrestling, an extreme type of physical story telling that mixes soap opera storylines with choreographed stage fighting. Events shown range from small shows in bars and clubs to large-scale productions in arenas. A portion of the project looks at death match wrestling: an ultra-violent form of the sport where wrestlers perform brutal blood laden matches with weapons. These contests feature barbed wire bats, thumbtacks, fluorescent light tubes, and flaming tables. Much like ancient human sacrifices, wrestling has always economised a desire within people to view and enjoy the suffering of others. While making this body of work I was interested in using photography to deconstruct the performance and spectacle of wrestling. I want the work to hint at wrestling itself as a performance of the political and ideological divisions that are prevalent in contemporary American politics. Before making work about professional wrestling, I spent several years documenting boxers  in inner city gyms in Belfast city and later in East Flatbush, Brooklyn. I was drawn to the brutal circumstance fighters...

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