THIS GAME WE PLAY
When Julius Erving played at Rucker Park in the 1970s, kids would sit in the trees and fill the rooftops just to see him play. It was in the street games in Harlem that he became the legendary Doctor J. The streetball court is a dream maker. “You either sling crack rock, or you got a wicked jump shot”, Biggie said. In New York streetball is more than just an invitation to enjoyment, it is a parallel social world where play triumphs over order. These are the canvases where play reaches for the creative heights. Le Corbusier said that New York was “a monument to the desire to escape it”, but for those who can’t there’s a pickup game on the corner.
In Franck Bohbot’s pictures it is the dreams of the court that come into focus rather than the players. We see the space for what it really is: a social ligament&mdasha stage where the people who live in New York come together, dream, play, and keep score. Text by Jesse McCarthy and Gabriel Arce-Rollins