Paul Pfeiffer (American, b. 1966) is best known for video-based artwork in which he manipulates media footage from sports and music culture. Through repetition and omission, his works expose the absurdity, complexity, and violence of popular spectacles. This exhibition highlights one of Pfeiffer’s newest works, Three Figures In A Room (2015–16), on view for the first time in a museum. The two-channel video deconstructs the infamous boxing match between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao at the MGM Grand, Las Vegas, in May 2015.
The work is composed of two videos projected across from each other. The first is an edited version of the “Fight of the Century” stripped of all sound, and manipulated so that the fighters appear paused, and fade in and out of view. The second video is a recording made by Pfeiffer of sound technicians, or foley artists, creating a soundtrack of the fight at Kantana Sound Studio in Bangkok. Using props and their own bodies, they re-created every sound made by the two boxers’ body movements. Overall, the installation creates a disorienting juxtaposition between the two very different forms of movement that result in the same grunts, labored breathing, and thuds of pounded flesh.
Three Figures In A Room is presented alongside works from the MCA’s permanent collection selected by the artist and the exhibition’s curator, Grace Deveney, based on their ongoing dialogue about the relationships between image, sound, anthropology, and autobiography.
This exhibition is organized by Grace Deveney, Curatorial Assistant at the MCA. It is presented in the Turner Gallery on the museum's fourth floor.