A Portrait of Bill May by Sarah Baker at Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens in Belgium
This summer A Portrait of Bill May was included in the exhibition Schöne Sentimenten at Museum Dhondt-Dahaenens in Belgium. In the exhibition, core works from the museum’s own collection enter into dialogue with works from private collections which the MDD currently manages or would like to manage in the future. The whole is therefore not a classical, but rather an imaginary collection presentation Real works of art are combined with ‘absent’ works so as to emphasise the importance, capacity and possibilities of the displayed collections.
A Portrait of Bill May was made for my solo exhibition at 1,000,000 mph gallery in London on 2004 and was supported by the Arts Council England. In the late eighties, Bill and I competed as synchronized swimmers national. By 1999, Bill May was the United States National Champion in all synchronized swimming events, however, the world may never know if Bill May could achieve his ultimate goal of an Olympic gold medal because men are excluded from competing in these Olympic events as they were only accessible to women. Bill May’s story and his fight for Olympic recognition inspire the documentary. The film includes reoccurring themes in my work of stardom, wealth and affluence. Aside from being a personal ode to May and his lifestyle, the work is a reflection on more social themes, such as male and female stereotypes in the world of sports and entertainment.
30/06/19 - 29/09/19