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The soap opera of pain

A tour in the USA wrestling: from small provincial shows to bloody and ultra-violent matches

This body of work looks at the world of independent professional wrestling, an extreme type of physical storytelling that mixes soap opera storylines with choreographed stage fighting.

Events shown range from small shows in bars and clubs to large-scale productions in arenas. A portion of the project looks at death match wrestling: an ultra-violent form of the sport where wrestlers perform brutal blood laden matches with weapons. These contests feature barbed wire bats, thumbtacks, fluorescent light tubes, and flaming tables.

Much like ancient human sacrifices, wrestling has always economized a desire within people to view and enjoy the suffering of others. Richard Wade with his “Draw a Squared Circle” project is interested in using photography to deconstruct the performance and spectacle of wrestling, while also suggesting it as a performance of the political and ideological divisions that are prevalent in contemporary American politics.

Credits

“Draw A Squared Circle”
Richard Wade
IG @richwadephoto
WEB richwade.com

April 2, 2020

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