Eton Fives is a ball game of hazardous challenges that is played against the wall with the bare hand within an asymmetrically angled architecture. We can picture it thus: in the early 19th century, students at Eton College waited bored for mass and began throwing a cork ball at the outer wall of the chapel, laying the foundation for this unique ball game. Since then, Eton Fives has been widely played in boarding schools and its unusual playing field—the chapel niche—has been reproduced worldwide. Due to its specific architecture, it naturally uses artistic means to renegotiate asymmetrical spatial relationships and becomes a metaphorical playing field that can be used as a stage for new forms of play.
In connection with our anniversary exhibition Hi Ventilation, Fion Pellacini created a sculptural replica of an Eton Fives court at the Kunstverein. Five weekly changing exhibitions will take place here: with the participation of young and established artists from Hamburg and around the world, the minimalist concrete structure becomes an exhibition space within an exhibition space, a shelter for art and its ways of playing.
The exhibitions in the Five in Fives series will take a closer look at the concept of the Kunstverein and our location in the railway station by means of various themes. In their deliberately fragmentary examinations of play, the body, networks, gardens, and trains, all the exhibitions investigate alternative movement patterns through established structures.