In his second book, Luke Smalley revisits the themes and ideas that resonated throughout his 2002 monograph Gymnasium. Smalley returns to his native Pennsylvania to investigate the small-town interiors and landscapes which are the settings for his portraits of young athletes.
Color photographs, inspired by a more innocent era, combine whimsy with the inexplicable: Smalley has hired a local seamstress to construct a colossal medicine ball; he binds two boys together with a "harness" and leaves them in an empty room for a psychological game of tug-of-war, while somewhere nearby two boys lead donkeys around the floor of a basketball court in an empty high school gym. Scale, time, and content are altered to create the world Smalley inhabits; the lush colors of this new world belie the viewer’s sense of dislocation.
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