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Review Short: Undercover Holidays at Gallery4Culture


There is something profound about a depiction of baseball that features all women. It’s not that women playing baseball is wrong. In fact, I have utmost respect for female baseballers. It’s that, as anybody who played baseball past junior high knows, a baseball dugout is the incarnation of every disgusting feminist critique of the male species. Sexism. Objectification of women. Homophobia. Fecal matter jokes. A baseball team is a boys club in the most traditional and, judging by the average level of maturity, most literal sense.

So, upon viewing Undercover Holidays, a piece on baseball featuring all women, things felt off to me-the-baseball-player. In the most male of male bastions, not only were all the players women (one woman playing several, actually: the artist Keeara Rhoades), but they were in highheeled Converses, dresses, and other sorts of femininely wrapped fabric. This just exposed, though, what the uber-male culture of baseball tries to cover up—baseball players wear tight pants, slap each others asses, and partake in movements that, when done properly, are often more artful than purely aggressive. Taken out of context, many baseball players would probably call their own actions “pretty gay.”

Each actor of Undercover Holidays is supposed to represent a different personality functioning within the game that is a family. Instead, maybe this should give baseball players past and future (like myself) a second look at their team’s dynamics. The game of Undercover Holidays flows more smoothly and artfully than the fire pit that is the average dugout, where tempers regularly devolve into fights. Perhaps if baseball players use this piece as an opportunity to reflect on the hyper-masculine dynamic of a baseball club, they will find their norm as shallow and ineffective as it actually is.

Quirky, more relaxed clubhouses, like the San Francisco Giants’, appear to fare better than more traditional ones. Once a team moves past the ridiculousness of their constant pissing contests, they can concentrate on the baseball, enjoying the game’s eccentricities along the way. Apparently it just takes a woman, Rhoades through her piece’s own eccentricity, to reveal it.

Undercover Holidays runs at Gallery4Culture (in 4Culture’s office) through July 29. Hours are 8:30a-5p, Monday-Friday. The gallery is free to view. The 4Culture office is on Prefontaine and Yesler downtown (essentially 3rd and Yesler) and is accessible by the Pioneer Square Bus Tunnel.

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