For 20 years, Nike has partnered with emerging talent to explore innovation through creative collaboration. “Objects of Desire,” a new exhibition curated by Out of Order magazine (and its creative director Dorian Grinspan), celebrates this legacy through an exhibition of garments, photographs and video. Along with the retrospective of past campaigns, the exhibition also introduces a new one: “I, David.”
Featuring famed ballet dancer David Hallberg, “I, David” explores the notion of perseverance — perseverance both literally through Hallberg’s personal experience in overcoming physical injury and metaphorically by using the NikeLab ACG Poncho as an allegory for tenacity by pushing forward in the face of harsh conditions. Directed by Niclas Gillis, with a set design by artist James Casebere, Hallberg evolves to the tune of an original cover of Claude Ely’s “Ain’t No Grave,” which, as the legend goes, Ely wrote while fighting, and eventually prevailing over tuberculosis at the age of 12 in 1934.
“A year and a half ago, I couldn’t even see one day ahead of me. Now I look back and see that silver lining is perseverance. It’s dedication. It’s a complete questioning of what your real purpose is," says Hallberg, a principal dancer for both the Bolshoi Ballet and American Ballet Theatre. "I really feel now that I’m not just a dancer, I’m an artist and I’m an athlete."
The rest of the exhibition represents a diverse group of creative talent, including Liz Collins, Carlos Serrao, Nathaniel Goldberg and Nadav Kander, and each artist has played a distinct role in evolving the visual language of sport. Beyond, their partnership with Nike details the brand’s consistent drive to redefine the athletic landscape.
The film, along with the other collected works from Nike’s "Objects of Desire," reveals that through determination, resilience, strength and perseverance we can achieve our full human potential.