Picture this: Sarah Baker

A Portrait of Bill May

Sarah Baker’s work primarily revolves around performances and heightened, exaggerated style situations. Baker usually takes these extremely refined styles as a starting point for her work and pushes them to a peak of absurdity, turning the work itself into an investigation of style.

In the late 1980s, Sarah Baker - herself a former synchronized swimmer - and Bill May competed against each other in synchronized swimming competitions, which led to a deep mutual respect and friendship. In 1999, May became the American champion in synchronized swimming, a position he still holds today. However, the problem is that the Olympic discipline of synchronized swimming is only allowed for women, despite vigorous protests and various petitions from male and female athletes.

Inspired by the story of Bill May and his struggle for ultimate Olympic recognition, Sarah Baker created this video documentary. Typical of her work are the many references to stardom, wealth, and luxury. The documentary is accompanied by a fierce rap soundtrack by Usher and D12, while the accompanying glossy photo shows Bill May in a macho rap outfit and pose. Besides creating this documentary as a personal tribute to May and his lifestyle, Baker’s subjective approach also prompts reflection on more universal themes such as male and female stereotypes in the sports and entertainment world.

Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens

Museumlaan 14
9831 Deurle