Douglas Gordon and Philippe Parreno
Douglas Gordon and Philippe Parenno’s ambitious collaboration, Zidane, a 21st century portrait, follows the French soccer star Zinédine Zidane in real time over the course of a single match, which took place in 2005. Assembled from footage shot by seventeen synchronized cameras placed around the stadium, the film captures Zidane from multiple angles, from up close and afar, and remains steadfastly fixed on him even when the central action of the match moves elsewhere. Gordon and Parreno conceived of the project in relation to painted portraiture extending back to Francisco de Goya and Diego Velázquez as well as the more immediate precursor of Andy Warhol’s real-time film portraits. By splicing in footage from the live television broadcast, Gordon and Parreno complicate their film portrait, foregrounding the mediated nature of the spectacle. The dual-channel video version of Zidane acquired by the Guggenheim features a further layering: the cinematic version plays in one projection while the raw footage from one of the seventeen cameras plays beside it. On occasion, the two streams synch and show the same image. This doubling, a recurrent feature of Gordon’s work, both deepens the psychological complexity of the portrait and echoes the broader mass-dissemination of the celebrity-hero.