Continuing their successful collaboration Sasha Bogojev and Mark Chalmers team up again for 8th Ply. Curated by Sasha Bogojev and presented by The Garage Amsterdam, 8th Ply is a group exhibition featuring artists whose lives were, and are, significantly marked by their connection with skateboarding.
Seven layers of maple wood, or 7-ply, is the core construction of the skateboard deck and the bedrock of this globally popular sport/lifestyle. In a year when skateboarding was destined to debut as an official Olympic sport for the first time in history, 8th Ply is here to put a focus on another layer of this popular activity.
Working in a variety of mediums, applying different techniques, and using a diverse range of aesthetics to express their creativity, the presentation aims to provide a glimpse at the uniqueness, imagination, and resourcefulness of the people closely connected to skateboarding. And while skateboarding itself is now a big part of popular culture and is getting heavily branded as a mainstream sport, 8th Ply serves as a metaphor for the cardinal ingredient that turns a wooden plank into a form of identification.
The exhibition features artists whose lives were, and are, significantly marked by their connection with skateboarding, such as Ed Templeton, James Jarvis, Jean Jullien, Adam Neate, Boris Tellegen, Parra, Josh Jefferson, Andrew Schoultz, and Jeffrey Cheung.
“From my perspective, 8th Ply represents the channeling of human energy and emotion into the artifact of the skateboard. The combination of board and rider together allows each to become greater than the sum of their parts. My work across the globe bears witness to the inspiring magic that occurs when skateboarders—particularly among SOC—are allowed to move beyond the local and contribute their viewpoints, actions, and activism to the global language of skateboarding culture. Each rider carries a different thread of humanity which, when woven into the broader fabric of skateboarding, emboldens the next generation to see skateboarding as an outlet for their voice.
As a young Black teenager, I witnessed firsthand how overt and covert racism negatively affected the lives of people of color, and I sought ways to disrupt its effects. Once discovering skateboarding, I found a new space of freedom and self-expression, as part of a multi-gendered, multiracial collective dedicated to pushing through life’s challenges atop 7-Plys of Hardrock-maple. The diversity within our coalition offered a blueprint, which demonstrated that when harnessed correctly, skateboarding culture might offer the possibility to challenge power, build community, and create social change.” – Dr. Neftalie Williams, Artist. Scholar. Diplomat. Activist. Skateboarder.
The Garage Amsterdam was created in 2004 by Mark Chalmers, a creative director and founder of the internationally lauded Creative Social. Mark also runs the international studio Chalming.Co where he is working with artists and art to build global brands through culture. Brands such as Nike, Dior, Google and Patagonia. Fascinated by the power of grassroots networks, Chalmers started The Garage Amsterdam, as a place where artists could stay while in Amsterdam, create and exhibit work and connect with other artists.
Scroll down below for more photos of the group show.
Images by Rene Messman