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Game Face: What Does a Female Athlete Look Like?

September 9 - October 30, 2004

 

Originally displayed at the Smithsonian Institution on the eve of the 30th anniversary of Title IX, "Game Face" is a unique photographic celebration of sports and daring in the lives of girls and women.

The photos depict women participating in every sport imaginable, from ping-pong to pole-vaulting, hunting to hardball. They range in style and substance from sepia-toned portraits to full-color action shots -- from a corseted lady with a bicycle in the 1890s to today's muscular soccer star Brandi Chastain savoring, without inhibition, her team's sudden-death World Cup victory in 1999.

Creator Jane Gottesman, a former sportswriter for the San Francisco Chronicle, was continually disappointed by her paper's coverage of women's sports. All too often they were denied space; when they did grab the headlines, it usually was for reasons other than achievement on the playing field.

Gottesman set out to right the wrong. Along with co-curator Geoffrey Biddle, she pored over thousands of images, many of them supplied by the Associated Press, others from celebrated photographers such as Ansel Adams, Robert Mapplethorpe, April Saul and Annie Liebowitz. She also interviewed as many of the athletes as possible to learn the stories behind the photos and published those accounts in the book "Game Face."

The exhibition and book explore not only what a female athlete looks like, but also what makes her tick.

Amanda Beard, Serena Williams, Ila Borders and USC's own Janet Evans and Inger Miller are among the Southern Californians represented in the show.

This exhibition has been organized by Game Face Productions and sponsored by MassMutual Financial Group, including OppenheimerFunds Inc. "Game Face" will be presented by USC Fisher Gallery and USC Athletics. It remains on view through October 30, 2004.

 

GAME FACE EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMMING AND EVENTS

 

Thursday, September 9, noon to 1 p.m.
CURATORS' GALLERY TALK: Co-curators Geoffrey Biddle and
Jane Gottesman lead an informal discussion about the
exhibition.
 
Wednesday, September 22, 4 to 6:30 p.m.
PANEL DISCUSSION: Michael Messner, USC professor of
sociology and author of "Taking the Field: Women, Men and
Sports," moderates a discussion on the challenges faced by
female athletes. Panelists include Sarah Banet-Weiser of the
USC Annenberg School for Communication, Paula McGee,
a member of the USC National Championship basketball
team in 1983 and 1984, and Nancy Solomon of the
California Women's Law Center. The event begins with a
tour at USC Fisher Gallery, then moves to a reception and
panel discussion at the USC Faculty Center.
 
Saturday, October 2, 2 to 5 p.m.
FAMILIES AT FISHER: Kids of all ages can take part in fun
activities related to the "Game Face" exhibition, including art
projects, face painting, sports demonstrations and more.
 
Tuesday, October 5, noon to 1 p.m.
FILM SCREENING: USC professor of sociology Michael
Messner presents a screening and discussion of "Playing
Unfair: The Media Image of the Female Athlete" (2002).
 
Thursday, October 14, 3 to 4:30 p.m.
DANCE PERFORMANCE: Margo K. Apostolos, director of dance
at the USC School of Theatre, presents "Footnotes," a dance
performance featuring varsity USC women athletes in the
museum courtyard.
 
Thursday, October 21, 7 to 9:15 p.m.
FILM SCREENING: The Division of Critical Studies in the USC
School of Cinema-Television co-sponsors a screening of
"Bend it Like Beckham" (2002). A discussion will follow.
Lucas Hall Theatre, Room 108.
 
Unless otherwise noted, all events are in USC Fisher Gallery. Admission is free. RSVP to Jeanette La Vere at (213) 740-5537.

 

A complementary photography exhibition, "The Women of Troy," will show concurrently with "Game Face" in the Quinn Wing of USC Fisher Gallery.

"The Women of Troy" celebrates the accomplishments of female USC athletes and highlights the dedication to sports that encourages women to keep competing, whether on the varsity, club or intramural level.

The show features 125 years of female Trojans -- from the earliest sporting exhibitions to today's superstar athletes, including many Olympians.


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