This new exhibition brings together a set of nine new photographs by Oliver Griffin (b. 1983 Boscombe, Dorset, UK - based in London and Berlin). The works are from an extensive series of photographs taken in 2015 during the level vibes BMX competition at Crayford, Kent at the local leisure centre.
The photographs show combinations of lines (in red, black, yellow, blue, green and white) denoting the playing areas for different competitive sports. They also show series of curved tyre marks left by the movements of the BMX bike made under the control of its rider in competition. The combination of the sets of rigorous lines and graceful marks make for what Oliver Griffin has termed the “demonstration of patterns in flow”. Each image presents a shorthand for his photographic capture of the orderly world of rules and regulations contrasting with the skilled free wheeling of the Flatland rider. To return to the philosophy of BMX, where there is only one ideal that comes to mind, Oliver Griffin’s is a photographic freestyle. In his world, rules are there only for your imagination to break them.
“All I see is a demonstration of patterns in flow within these lines. It’s a philosophy, you have to practice it and then you understand the whole idea of flatland as a discipline with the sport of bicycle motocross. (BMX). I guess you know this extreme sport from the famous scene from Spielberg’s 1982 classic ET, as a couple of the professionals of that era (dressed up as hooded youth) jump in front of the moon. But as Viki Gomez, current world champion in this BMX discipline describes it “Flatland is an art form where imagination, a bike and a smooth flat ground are needed in order for the artist to create tricks and express themselves”. Things like surface become extremely important to how you see the idea of movement just like in other disciplines like floor in gymnastics or break dancing. For Flatland it is simple: you ride a child-size bicycle that becomes an obsession across various different areas of your life. Especially when it comes to finding ‘spots”, or areas of land to ride on. Carparks are always a good choice but there is always a piece of derelict asphalt to be found. I would call it a psychogeographical adventure - finding empty, perfectly smooth surfaces. This activity is defined by a piece of flat ground, flatland if you don’t get it yet. Not bumpy, not rough, perfectly flat. “
This exhibition will also include its own sets of floor lines for the rule-based sports of korfball, tennis and hockey over which on two days BMX flatland riders will meet, as well as a new artist book published by Loose Joints.
5 May Private view with BMX meet 6-9pm
20 May 12 - 9pm BMX meet with Book Launch (for Photo London and Peckham 24)