Match Point, Assaf Gruber

Assaf Gruber
Match Point, 2005
digital video, 3 min 43 sec



You’re invited to witness a game of tennis being played. Or a game of billiards. Or snooker. Or pool. At a tennis stadium. Or perhaps a football arena. Match Point delivers a shot of confusion the very moment we encounter the film.

At a time when information flows seemingly seamlessly and we are quick to make decisions and judge, this early work of Assaf Gruber goes on to show how we transform ideas into language, language into images, and how images themselves mask the way we think and participate in our societies.

Amidst the silence, and the crisp, almost pleasant sound of balls shot, there is an sense of expectation of what comes next. This eerie arena invites omnious scenarios. For some, it is the idea of a player, or a person running across the court, being hit by one of the balls. For others it’s the thought of witnessing this awkward spectacle. Gruber distilled the very idea of a game, reducing all of its elements to the bare minimum. The violence is in the air, and the pun is intended. The question is: if we have to take sides, voice an opinion, cheer for a team – what are the rules, who writes them, and what do we take for granted? The social contracts that we inadvertently accept or challenge as troublesome – they make up the match and are to only way to score a point.

In this film of Gruber the layering of those different rules is brought to an extreme. We are looking at a simple but not obvious situation: which rules do we want to follow, and which rules follow us?


Krzysztof Kościuczuk



Assaf Gruber (b. 1980, Jerusalem) is a sculptor and filmmaker living and working in Berlin. His photography, sculpture, and installations highlight the materiality of objects in turn spaces where movement and non-movement functions as a medium. Gruber has studied at the Cooper Union, New York, École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts (ENSBA) in Paris, and the Higher Institute of Fine Arts (HISK) in Ghent. His films have been featured in festivals including the Berlinale (2016), the FID Marseille (2022), and the Film Festival Rotterdam (2023).