Paul Pfeiffer (American, b. 1966) deconstructs televised events and the ways that viewers participate in them. By manipulating moving images, he exposes the absurdity, complexity, and violence of popular spectacles.
Three Figures in a Room is a two-channel installation that deconstructs the “Fight of the Century”—a boxing match between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao at the MGM Grand Las Vegas in May 2015. Pfeiffer’s edited version of the fight, shown on one screen, is missing one key element: the roaring sound of the cheering crowd. The fight is instead accompanied only by the rhythmic thud of footsteps, the acute smack of leather on flesh, and labored breath. The other channel reveals the soundtrack’s source: sound technicians, or Foley artists, use a myriad of props to simulate the fight’s audio. Mirroring the boxers’ athleticism and focus, the Foley artists play in sync with the fight. This disorienting juxtaposition upturns viewer expectations by shifting the context of the sights and sounds of the infamous match.
Three Figures in a Room is presented alongside works from the MCA’s permanent collection. These works, selected by Pfeiffer and the exhibition’s curator, explore the theme of the artist as editor, one who plays with space and time and, in doing so, creates new narratives that blur the line between fact and fiction.
This exhibition is organized by Grace Deveney, Assistant Curator at the MCA. It is presented in the Turner Gallery on the museum's fourth floor.
Artists featured in MCA Screen: Paul Pfeiffer include:
Chris Burden (American, 1946–2015)
Sarah Charlesworth (American, 1947–2013)
Stan Douglas (Canadian, b. 1960)
Jeanne Dunning (American, b. 1960)
Robert Heinecken (American, 1931–2006)
Sharon Lockhart (American, b. 1964)
Paul Pfeiffer (American, b. 1966)