Within the confines of a quaint college campus in the suburbs, students are lured into the dark stacks of a Gothic library, reinvigorated by luscious playing fields, and, in the over-heated indoors of a stately stone dorm building, lulled into their tripartite routine. These walls foster apocalyptic study binges, long-winded chivalric debates, and division three runner-up consolation matches. For four years, Haverfordians inhabit these spaces and perform these rituals, learning and assuming roles, creating and redacting identities. This distinctly collegiate phenomenon is of the utmost interest to Drop Shot, a group of five conceptual artists who engage in aesthetic and critical experimentation inside a condemned campus squash court. In an unprecedented introspective turn, they have asked themselves—and you, the viewer—"How did I get here? How do I work this?" They present their findings here, in the exhibit Non Doctior, both to live up to and toy with our alma mater's hope that college steeps us in a better learning.
Drop Shot is at once a physical art space in an abandoned squash court and a collection of individuals, bound by a common interest in aesthetic practice. Borne out of a need for a more flexible gallery and performance venue on Haverford College’s campus, Drop Shot embodies a multi-disciplinary approach to artmaking and critical discourse.
Drop Shot, as a site of artistic experimentation, is an arena for intellectual collision. In this way, the spirit of the sport for which the space and collective are named continues to flourish. Just as a squash ball once bounced from the racquets of players to ricochet off the court walls, so too do ideas and media spring, jerk, jolt, hurdle, and buck as they are shot together.
In 2010-11, Drop Shot hosted eight student artist residencies, all focusing on the theme “House”: We can understand the world as a taxonomy of houses, spaces in which economies, moralities, and sexualities interact, shaping our sense of self and coloring the world around us. One resident constructed a back porch inside the squash court; another held an improv dance workshop; another moved his dorm room into the space and inhabited it for one week. Non Doctior, then, marks the capstone of this project, an exploration of the house we all share for four years—Haverford College itself.