© Didier Morelli

Didier Morelli @ Artexte

L'art et le sport

Spring 2023

My favourite memories as a child are of playing. A game of throwing pennies with my father, a wrestling throwdown with my mother, shooting the bow and arow with my uncle or losing a tennis match to my great aunt. Much like the visual arts, which have always been part of my life, sports, play and games have always been at the forefront of my identity. Somewhere along the way, they also started to blead into each other, the lines between them blurred by their many aesthetic, kinesthetic, and embodied overlaps.

My research at Artexte takes inspiration from artists’ embrace of the realms of sports and play as a territory to draw from, intervene in, and channel through their practices. Inspired by Larry Miller’s Flux Olympics (1970), a series of unusually modified, aestheticized, and impossible track and field events held at Rutgers University by members of the Fluxus art movement, I wish to draw from Artexte’s collection to illustrate how all sports come with their own individual and complex intersectional legacies and histories. Critically reviewing Canada’s material history in relationship to the Olympics and other sporting endeavors, the project builds upon my ongoing research on the relationships between moving bodies in athletics and culture.

— Didier Morelli


Didier Morelli is a FRQSC Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Art History at Concordia University. He holds a PhD in Performance Studies from Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois (2021). Associate editor at Espace art actuel, a contemporary arts magazine in Montreal, his writing has also been published in Art Journal, CTR: Canadian Theatre Review, C Magazine, Esse Arts + Opinions, RACAR, Spirale, and TDR: The Drama Review, amongst others. In addition to being the curatorial research assistant for the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec (MNBAQ) career retrospective of the photographer Evergon (2022), Morelli also curated Traversée/Crossing, a group exhibition on the intersections of contemporary art and watersports at Stewart Hall Art Gallery (2022), as well as a forthcoming online video art project on the environment and performance at the Grantham Foundation for the Arts and the Environment (2023). A practicing visual and performance artist himself, he is scheduled for a solo exhibition at the Centre des arts actuels Skol in the spring of 2023.