BASIM MAGDY: PINGPINPOOLPONG, or How I Learned to Laugh at Failure

Basim Magdy Art Block commission

Basim Magdy, PINGPINPOOLPONG, or How I Learned to Laugh at Failure, Art Block, 2018. Photo: Andy Stagg

Artist Basim Magdy has created a new sport combining elements of ping-pong, pinball and pool for his commission at Art Block. Interested in failure and impossibility, Magdy often uses humour in his work, constructing absurd and fantastical scenarios though photography, video, sculpture and installation.

PINGPINPOOLPONG, or How I Learned to Laugh at Failure, 2018, (September 2018 – February 2019) is a table-based game, featuring net pockets similar to those used in pool as well as interchangeable sculptural obstacles which spin when struck with the ball, making the game both difficult to play and subject to unpredictable results. A set of rules devised collaboratively with the children who play at Art Block will structure how and when the game is played. The work aims to challenge the idea of winning and encourage participants to celebrate failing together.

Over six months there will also be a series of events, centred around tournaments, which involve inviting champion ping-pong players and pool trick specialists to play against the children and each other in a niche sports mashup. 

PINGPINGPOOLPONG, or How I Learned to Laugh at Failure, is supported by additional funds from the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia. 

Open Plan is supported by the Freelands Foundation with additional funds from Southwark Council’s Youth & Play Grant Programme, the Big Lottery Fund and other donors. 

<p>Basim Magdy, <em>PINGPINPOOLPONG, or How I Learned to Laugh at Failure</em>, Art Block, 2018. Photo: Andy Stagg</p>

Basim Magdy, PINGPINPOOLPONG, or How I Learned to Laugh at Failure, Art Block, 2018. Photo: Andy Stagg

<p>Basim Magdy, <em>PINGPINPOOLPONG, or How I Learned to Laugh at Failure</em>, Art Block, 2018. Photo: Andy Stagg</p>

Basim Magdy, PINGPINPOOLPONG, or How I Learned to Laugh at Failure, Art Block, 2018. Photo: Andy Stagg