Jon Pack & Gary Hustwit: The Olympic City
Curated by Stuart Horodner
The Olympic City is an ongoing project that looks at the legacy of the Olympic Games in former host cities around the world.
Since 2008, photographer Jon Pack, and filmmaker Gary Hustwit have sought out sought out the successes and failures, remnants and ghosts of the Olympics in cities including Athens, Barcelona, Mexico City, Lake Placid, Los Angeles, Montreal, and Rome. Their photographs document structures, streets, signage, and ephemera as a way of acknowledging and analyzing a complex set of relationships between the past and the present.
As cities rely more and more on cultural tourism and event-centric activities for their economy and identity, The Olympic City can serve as a focusing agent for dialogue about urban space, development, memory, and competition. What promises and expectations come along with a city’s hunger to host the Games? What lessons can be learned from the adaptive re-use of stadiums and housing, and access to the pools, ski jumps, and tracks which served as stages for athletic triumphs and moments of national pride? How were neighborhoods and citizens affected by Olympic development? Pack and Hustwit are creating an archive of imagery which not only illustrates the successes and failures of variations on a legendary sporting event, but their project offers a possible guide to the dos and don’ts of contemporary built environments.
Presenting this exhibition in Atlanta, which hosted the Olympics in the summer of 1996, affords viewers a unique opportunity to reflect on the impact that the Olympics had on the city where they live, be it population growth, systems and policies, or collective and personal memory.
Jon Pack is a Brooklyn-based photographer whose work has been exhibited in galleries in the U.S. and Europe, and has appeared on book covers from publishers including Simon & Schuster and Random House. His previous projects include the limited-edition book Out There; That Thing We Call Nature.
Gary Hustwit is an independent filmmaker based in New York and London. He worked with punk label SST Records in the late 1980s, and was subsequently involved in a wide range of projects in music and book publishing before he began producing documentaries in 2001. His films include the design documentaries Helvetica (2007), Objectified (2009), and Urbanized (2011).
Support for this exhibition is provided by the City of Atlanta Office of Cultural Affairs.
CNN: Remnants of Glory in Former Olympic Cities
Atlanta Business Chronicle: Making Peace with our Olympic Legacy
CBS Atlanta: The Best Exhibits to Visit this Summer in Atlanta
Atlanta Channel 26: Olympic City Exhibition
Image: Jon Pack and Gary Hustwit, The Olympic City (detail), Piscina Municipal de Montjuïc, Barcelona, 2012, Photograph, Courtesy the artists