Thursday, August 5, 2010

Pied La Biche's reenactment of the 1982 World Cup semifinal between West Germany and France

Pied La Biche's Refait (2010) reconstructs the last fifteen of a 1982 World Cup semifinal between West Germany and France. The last fifteen minutes of that match were penalty kicks, the worst sort of tournament drama. (The Guardian gives a detailed survey of this historic match here.) For this work, the artists' collective repeats the movements and gestures of all the players, referees and staff - not on a field, but in ordinary urban spaces. The soundtrack cuts back and forth between a broadcast of the 1982 match, and guys talking about their memories of the game.

This is one of the most awesome works of football art I've ever seen - and it isn't Pied La Biche's only football-centered project.

The same collective organized and documented a tournament of three-sided football for the Lyon Biennial this past year.  In doing so, they realized a 1964 proposal for an anti-bourgeois and dialectal game, written by the Danish artist Asger Jorn. 

Thank you Amelia and Amanda for turning me on to these folks.


  1. It's nice to see soccer in it's variety of theoretical, political, esthetical and artistical structures and dimensions, dissolute or dissolving boundaries while used as a ball itself reflecting the game between ideas, histories, cultures, societies, rules, bodies, motion sequences, as a critic of not only being part of a global market according to clearly defined laws.

    rebel:art - connecting art and activism - has a series of soccer related art works, starting with

    Van der Art I: Pied la Biche -"Refait".
    Van der Art II: Helmut Smits - "Greenscreen",
    Van der Art III: Sebastian Errazuriz - "Memorial of a concentration camp",
    Van der Art IV: Maider López - "Polder Cup",
    Van der Art V: ASCII-WM
    Van der Art VI: Max Hattler - "Your Highness".

  2. "Refait" does a nice job showing how the abstract frame of the field enables us to project so much onto a match. Just as there are four different fields one can lay on top of video of penalty kicks, one can also argue that a sporting events means this or that. I am reminded of how political newspapers of every stripe saw Zidane's headbutt reflect their worldviews.


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