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Zidane, a 21st Century PortraitEnlarge image

Zidane, a 21st Century Portrait, 2006

Douglas Gordon; Philippe Parreno
French, 1964
2 channel digital video installation, 90:00 minutes
installation dimensions variable
Purchased 2007
National Gallery of Canada (no. 42074)

Spanish and French with English subtitles
This contemporary portrait of Zinédine Zidane was filmed during a championship match between Real Madrid and Villarreal on 23 April 2005. The artists positioned seventeen cameras throughout Madrid’s Santiago Bernabéu stadium and directed a team of camera operators to remain fixed on the French soccer star throughout the entire match. This installation juxtaposes a film composed of footage from all seventeen cameras with the raw footage from camera number one. Zidane’s image is projected larger than life so that his every gesture and expression are emphasized. The soundtrack shuttles the viewer between the sounds of the game and an ethereal, introspective space, creating a radically different experience of both soccer and portraiture. In an era of spectacle and branding, Gordon and Parreno deploy the conventions of mass media both to “paint” their portrait of Zidane, as well as to portray our cultural creation of, and fascination with, heroes and icons.

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