Male Sport by Sophie Kirchner
Who breaks with social conventions quickly becomes an outsider. Everyone is expected to play the role assigned to them. This applies especially to gender-based roles ascribed to us. Men are men and women are women. The first female artists, for instance, were called painting women, a derogatory term used for women in the early twentieth century who publicly exhibited their art. Today, more women graduate from art schools than men. In a lot of other professional fields equality between the sexes has been established. But the world of sports still seems to be very conservative. This is exactly where Sophie Kirchner's discreet work Male Sport starts. Here, it is not about soccer or boxing, where women are by now reasonably accepted. It is about sports, where men can still be real guys: water polo, ice hockey and rugby.
Kirchner photographs her subjects right after a game. The women's pupils are wide open, the adrenaline is still pumping dramatically in their blood. The images seem to cater to expected clichés. But one should be careful, because the photographer's intention is exactly the opposite. These are portraits of athletes who love their sport and play it with passion. She is not working with a specious emancipatory agenda and she does not want to simply provoke. Her work is all about showing people who do what they love. Nothing more, but also nothing less. With her expressive portraits she simply points out that these women are not marginal, but that society is marginalizing them.
Sophie Kirchner lives and works in Hamburg and Berlin, Germany.
To view more of Sophie's work, please visit her website.
You can purchase a photograph by Sophie Kirchner from the Fraction Editions.