21 Jun 2006


June 21, 2006 curated by Francesco Bonami, Maria Luisa Frisa and Stefano Tonchi concept Hola Jeffrey Inaba, Heather Flood, Jeffrey Johnson Book-catalogue Charta – Fondazione Pitti Discovery Florence, Stazione Leopolda opening 21 June 2006 22 June / 21 July 2006

Human Game. Winners and Losers  is a reflection on sport and its central role in contemporary society.


Today, sport is a nerve point: it is the meeting point of passion and desire, science and research and a metaphor of existence as summarized by the sub-title, Winners and Losers. 

The aim of Human Game is to find the crucial bond between sport, in the sense of a recreational pastime, and social, political and cultural life.
 The  continuing spread of a vast sport mythology has changed habits, clothing styles and has prompted real revolutions. Human Game examines the metamorphosis of sport as it changed from play, competition, discipline and body care to universal spectacle that encompasses technology, fashion, art, business, medicine and communications. 

Human Game is a book and an exhibition. Both focus on five different themes, five as the number of Olympic circles,  that can become the device for organizing sport and its image together with art, communications, design, fashion and pop culture, as well as all the social and political contrasts related to it: LIMIT, GAMES, MUTATION, TRADITION, FREEDOM.

LIMIT_ speed, records, challenger, second skin, LycraÒ
GAMES_ motion, action, contrast, team spirit, jersey
MUTATION_ prostheses, protection, muscles, athletic supporters, doping 
TRADITION_  white, cotton, rule, WASP, tennis
FREEDOM_ antagonism, freestyle, no rules, philosophy, fisheye

These themes reflect the complexities of contemporary sports, and how sport champions influence other people’s lifestyles and fashions with their behavior. Art uses sport as a symbol and metaphor of life; fashion designers’ creations tell how fashion has been marked by sport and how sport has been affected by the lure of fashion. The only real innovations in fashion during the past decade have been in sports clothing: sports products have become signature items and influence fashion from streetstyle to haute couture. Sports are media phenomena for all intents and purposes and sports stars are true super-stars whose internationally recognized faces impact every kind of product. Lifestyles are truly becoming sport-ized.

The exhibition_ A spiral in gilt metal netting, with a diameter of 11 meters that unwinds along the nave of the Stazione Leopolda, contains the show's itinerary, over 100 meters in lenght, and marked by containers covered with sports materials, grass, asphalt, exercise mats, wooden boards, while a sort of compressed atmosphere is that of a stadium under the pressure of the fans and the adrenaline of the athletes.

The book_ an almanac, organized in five sections, each one marked by the color of Olympic circles, filled with images, texts and curiosities (about 500 pages with 600 illustrations). A co-publication by Fondazione Pitti Discovery and Charta.

Human Game. Winners and Losers is produced by the Fondazione Pitti Discovery and curated by Francesco Bonami, Maria Luisa Frisa and Stefano Tonchi; sport-fashion consultant Robert Rabensteiner, the book image and exhibition design are by Hola, a Los Angeles-based architecture studio, coordinated by Jeffrey Inaba.

The exhibition opened in Florence on 21 June 2006, on the occasion of Pitti Immagine Uomo 70 and negotiations are currently in progress to take it to other institutions in Europe and America.

Human Game is an initiative within the Florence 99% Contemporary, a calendar of events and international exhibitions that get started on the occasion of Pitti Immagine Uomo and go on for the whole summer.

 At the exhibition and in the catalogue

FASHION+SPORT: Adidas, Adidas + Missy Elliott, Adidas + Stella McCartney, Adidas + Yohji Yamamoto, Aigle, Allegri, Arena, Giorgio Armani, Ballantyne Cashmere, Neil Barrett, Geoffrey Beene, Belstaff, Benetton, Bianchi Milano, Dirk Bikkenbergs, Billabong, Hugo Boss, Thom Browne, Burberry, Burton, Burton + Paul Smith, C.P. Company, JC de Castelbajac, Calze Gallo, Canterbury of New Zealand, Carrera by Safilo, Roberto Cavalli, Champion, Chanel, Ciesse, Circa, Colmar, Columbia Sportswear Company, Comme des Garçons, Converse, D Squared, Dainese, DC Shoes, Diadora, Diesel, Christian Dior, Dolce & Gabbana, Dunhill, DVS, Eastpak, Element, Ellesse, Ellesse + Eley Kishimoto, Emerica, éS, Etnies, Everlast, Everlast + Norma Kamali, Gianfranco Ferré, Fila, Fred Perry, Fred Perry + Comme des Garçons, Freddy, Gucci, Harley-Davidson, Helly Hansen, Henry Lloyd, Hermès, Tommy Hilfiger, Hogan, Invicta, Jantzen, Juicy Couture, K-Swiss, K-Way, Norma Kamali, La Martina, Lacoste, Lange, Ralph Lauren, Le coq sportif, Le coq sportif + Ice J Iceberg, Le coq sportif + JC de Castelbajac, J. Lindeberg, Lonsdale, Lotto, Maison Martin Margiela, Mambo, Marithé & François Girbaud, Antonio Marras, Stella McCartney, Alexander McQueen, Missoni Sport, Issey Miyake, Mizuno, Moncler, Moncler + Balenciaga, Moncler + Junya Watanabe, Moon Boot, Munich X, Murphy&Nye, Napapijri, Nautica, New Balance, Nike, Nixon, Nodesign, North Sails, O’Neill, Oakley, Pantofola d’oro, Parasuco Cult, Patagonia, Pirelli, Prada, Pringle of Scotland, Emilio Pucci, Puma, Puma + Alexander McQueen, Puma + Jil Sander, Puma + Philip Starck, Puma + Mihara Yasuhiro, Quiksilver, Reebok + Paul Smith, Reebok, Rip Curl, Riva, Robe di Kappa, Rossignol, Rossignol + Emilio Pucci, Sabelt, Salomon, Jil Sander, Santa Cruz, Santoni, Raf Simons, Paul Smith, Smith by Safilo, Spalding, Speedo, Speedo + Rei Kawakubo, Speedo + Rosa Chà, Stone Island, Superga, Sergio Tacchini, Sergio Tacchini + Burro, Tecnica, The North Face, Timberland, Tod’s, Isabella Tonchi, Umbro, Vans, Versace, Viktor & Rolf, Louis Vuitton, Vivienne Westwood, Bernard Willhelm, World Industries, Yohji Yamamoto, Yves Saint Laurent, Ermenegildo Zegna, Zero, ZooYork

ARTISTS: Vito Acconci, Rey Akdogan, Ulf Aminde, Carlos Amorales, Maria Antelman, Gustavo Artigas, Felipe Barbosa, Matthew Barney, Elisabetta Benassi, Paul Floyd Blake, Michael Blum, Andrea Bowers, Slater Bradley, Olaf Breuning, Roderick Buchanan, Mircea Cantor, Josef Dabernig, Stephen Dean, Sylvie Fleury, Kendell Geers, Fabrice Gygi, Julie Henry, Brian Jungen, Omer Ali Kazma, Jeff Koons, Annika Larsson, Sharon Lockhart, Eva e Franco Mattes (0100101110101101.org), Olaf Metzel, Tracey Moffatt, Gianni Motti, Bruce Nauman, Melik Ohanian, Gabriel Orozco, Cecilia Parsberg, Paul Pfeiffer, Shannon Plumb, Robin Rhode, Collier Schorr, Roman Signer, Florian Slotawa, Fiona Tan, Pascale Marthine Tayou, Grazia Toderi, Jaan Toomik, Patrick Tuttofuoco, Uri Tzaig, Mark Wallinger

THE AUTHORS: Emanuela Audisio, Tommaso Bartalesi, Francesco Bonami, Paola Colaiacomo, Elda Danese with Raffaella Brunzin, Maddalena De Bernardi, Peter De Potter, Valentina Durante, Raffaella Ferrero Camoletto, Maria Luisa Frisa, Alexandra Marshall, Alessandra Marchi, Matilda McQuaid, Toby Miller, Amanda Montanari, Elena Moretti, Stefano Pistolini, Maddalena Renzi, Olivier Saillard, Fabrizio Sarpi, Roberta Sassatelli, Horatio Silva, Nick Sullivan, Mauro Tinti, Stefano Tonchi, Alessandra Vaccari, Greg Williams