Whether a fervid fan or an unconcerned spectator, surely, you’ve watched a sports game—seen point guards dribble and dunk or quarterbacks tackle and touchdown as the clock runs out.
But have you looked at one—gazed at an entire match’s worth of moments condensed into a singular image? Well, with Pelle Cass’s photos you can.
The Boston-based photographer snaps shots throughout college sports events, then collages them together. While he omits certain figures, he is careful not to manipulate a player’s position. The result: athletes fill the fields, twisting and turning on top of each other; balls become suspended in space, no longer a focal point of the game but decorative motifs in the composition; the whole competition abstracts into pure play.
It’s chaotic. However, for all the Dionysian disorder, there is a choreographed quality echoing the carefully composed canvases of Pollack, Malevich, Delacroix and other great painters. Powered by this organized confusion, each photograph reveals that perhaps there is a scheme behind seemingly random scenarios. While in the instant it’s unknowable, looking back, you can see the great order to sports life.