Nike Stays True To Form With 'Objects of Desire' Exhibition
Nike Stays True To Form With 'Objects of Desire' Exhibition
Photo courtesy of High Snobiety.

Nike Stays True To Form With 'Objects of Desire' Exhibition [Recap]

Lenny Kravitz, Grace Jones, Lauryn Hill, Lion Babe, Thundercat, SZA & More Rock The Afropunk Festival 2015 in Brooklyn, NY. Photo courtesy of High Snobiety.

Nike just laid out all of their cool receipts

Since 1964, Nike has influenced what it means to “win at life.” From helping us to champion the monotony of everyday life to crossing the finish line of a 100-meter dash, Nike is like an emblem of resiliency. The brand has a way of making one feel like a superhuman, which is probably why we’re so loyal to it. Whether you’re a self-proclaimed athlete or street style aficionado, Nike has invested in making sure it remains relevant in whatever (weird) subculture you choose to identify with through investment in creative collaborations.

This year marks 20 years of Nike’s dedication to making sure diversity is celebrated through their advertisement campaigns. Nike recently laid out years of their work during the “Objects of Desire” exhibition housed at the hype-beast headquarters, 45 Grand. The brand reached out to Dorian Grinspan, the 21-year-old founder of Out of Order, a high-end fashion, art, and culture publication, to curate the multimedia experience.

The space outfitted like a cave, audio of voices echoed everything that Nike represents, “dedication, desire, grit, endurance, innovation, passion, self expression, power, purpose, confidence, spirit,” could be heard as you entered the show and walked down a hall leading to a long table set with nostalgia. The retrospective dramatically ran us through some of Nike’s past campaigns and made way for its newest. Grinspan chose campaigns of some of our favorite sports icons, Chris Webber in a 1994 Nike Air Unlimited Retro Slate campaign, Serena Williams and Allyson Felix, Kevin Durant, Ashton Eaton and more.

It all led to an introduction to the brand’s newest push a film, featuring principle dancer and athlete, David Hallberg, titled I, David, creatively directed by Grinspan in collaboration with filmmaker Niclas Gillis and artist James Casebere. It took its inspiration from the French photographer, Theirry LeGoues’ 2000 Objects of Desire shot for Nike.

“The idea is to explore the notion of perseverance both literally through Hallberg’s personal experience in overcoming physical injury and metaphorically by using the SU17 NikeLab ACG Poncho as an allegory for tenacity by pushing forward in the face of harsh conditions,” Nike said in a press release. "I really feel now that I’m not just a dancer, I’m an artist and I’m an athlete,” Hallberg told Nike.

The rest of the exhibition represented innovative campaigns created by a long roster of artists responsible for not simply designing curbside magnets of consumerism, but evolving the visual language of the brand. The film, along with the curated collection of past campaigns on display from Nike’s Objects of Desire, make every coin spent on Nike, perhaps a bit more reasonable, as the brand continues to push culture forward.

Priscilla Ward is a celebrated writer whose work has been featured on Essence, Salon and is also the creator of #BLCKNLIT. You can find her tweeting about bell hooks, sandwiches and art shows @MacaroniFRO.