Paul Pfeiffer’s videos, sculpture, installations and photography dissect the role the mass media plays in contemporary obsessions with celebrity.

In a series of videos focused on professional sports events, Pfeiffer digitally re-edited found footage, shifting the viewer’s focus. For the 16th Biennale of Sydney (2008) on Cockatoo Island, Pfeiffer created a futuristic sculpture inspired by the Olympic Stadium in Sydney, made in close collaboration with the architects of the original stadium, Bligh Voller Nield Architecture, Sydney. The model, eight metres in diameter, morphs the existing design that seats 80,000 people into a structure that could, if built to scale, accommodate an audience of one million. With its dynamic revolving shape, the vertiginous view inside and the revolutionary vision of its imagined audience, Pfeiffer’s Vitruvian Figure (2008) evokes a disturbing apparition of spectacle and pays homage to the modern visions of the first-century BC Roman architect, Vitruvius.


  • Title: Vitruvian Figure
  • Creator: Paul Pfeiffer
  • Date: 2008
  • Location: 144, Industrial Precinct, Cockatoo Island, Sydney Australia
  • Medium: installation image
  • Legal & Privacy: http://www.biennaleofsydney.com.au/19bos/legal-privacy/
  • Edition: 2010: 17th Biennale of Sydney: THE BEAUTY OF DISTANCE – Songs of Survival in a Precarious Age
  • Dimensions: h800 cm, diameter (Complete)
  • Credits: Paul Pfeiffer, Vitruvian Figure, 2008. Installation views of the 16th Biennale of Sydney at Cockatoo Island. Courtesy the artist and The Project, New York. This project was made possible with the generous support of The Project, New York and additional support from Bligh Voller Nield Architecture, Sydney and Salon 94, New York. Photograph: Jenni Carter
  • Courtesy: Courtesy the artist; The Project, New York; and Bligh Voller Nield Architecture, Sydney
  • Artist Nationality: American
  • Artist Birthplace: Honolulu, HI
  • Artist Birth Date: 1966

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