Tournament of the Unknown is a month-long show that questions and reinvents the socio- political role of sport in contemporary society. It envisions new worlds beyond the binary, where hegemonic and heterosexist discourses cease to regulate bodies. The show features a series of alternative team sport games that create opportunities for social engagement outside of the norm.
The tournament disrupts the rigid binary structures that result in ‘winning’ or ‘losing’. Gabriel’s practice asks the world to open up to more than two competing teams, and seek moments of vulnerability and transgression.
Composed of new tools, rules, uniforms, and alternative sport fields, the games create moments of disorientation and reorientation, providing the players with an embodied understanding of social power structures and their workings. By allowing people to perform multiple identities, the games open up spaces for experimentation, play and collective reflection that challenge fixed categories. The tournament acted as a training ground, teaching us how to deal with more than a binary experience of the world and inviting us to rehearse alternate modes of being together.
This project has a series of iterations, this first edition took place at Gemaal op Zuid in Rotterdam from 30 October to 29 November 2021. It evolved over a month through a series of games, ceremonies, workshops, and some classes by Queer Gym.