Michael Snow
Clothed Woman (In Memory of my Father) 1963
oil and lucite on canvas
152 x 386.2 cm
Purchased 1966
National Gallery of Canada

Zidane: Up, Close, and Personal

Ottawa - July 6, 2007

No soccer fan will want to miss this! Get an intimate look at soccer superstar Zinédine Zidane, as the National Gallery of Canada is now showing Douglas Gordon and Philippe Parreno’s Zidane, A 21st Century Portrait until October 2007.

“As the only Canadian institution to have acquired this installation so far, we are proud to be able to make such a unique contribution to this soccer-filled summer,” says Pierre Théberge, Director of the National Gallery of Canada. “We are also honoured to have welcomed Douglas Gordon to install this work in the Gallery himself, for its first public museum presentation.”

Zidane, A 21st Century Portrait presents an extraordinary portrait of French soccer player Zinédine Zidane, and was filmed in real time during the 23 April 2005 championship match between his team, Real Madrid, and Villarreal. With this video installation, the viewer is given access to the athlete – and the game – like never before.

In this double large-scale projection, Gordon and Parreno juxtapose their highly edited film, comprising footage from 17 cameras, with the raw footage from camera number one. “Zidane is projected larger than life, his every gesture and expression emphasized, from the time he walks onto the field at the beginning of the match, until he is red-carded and leaves the game nearly 90 minutes later,” explains Josée Drouin-Brisebois, Acting Curator of Contemporary Art. The soundtrack, composed by the Scottish band Mogwai, shuttles the viewer between the sounds of the game and an ethereal, introspective space. The result is a radically different experience of both soccer and portraiture – a video installation not to be missed.

The final film débuted at Cannes Film Festival in May 2006, garnering rave reviews from sport enthusiasts and film critics alike. Since 2006, Zidane has been screened in theatres across France, and in select locations throughout Europe, North America and New Zealand.

To make the film, Gordon and Parreno gathered a team of the best available technicians from Europe and the United States, including cameramen who worked for Hollywood and the National Football League, as well as acclaimed cinematographer Darius Khondji (Seven), sound engineer Tom Johnson (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), and editor Hervé Schneid (Amélie). The artists positioned 17 cameras throughout Madrid’s Estadio Santiago Bernabéu and directed the crew to remain fixed on the French soccer star over the course of the entire match.

This presentation of Zidane, A 21st Century Portrait coincides with the FIFA U-20 World Cup taking place until to July 22, 2007 in Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Edmonton, Burnaby, and Victoria.
Douglas Gordon
Douglas Gordon works in sound, photography, and text, but is renowned for his video installations that alter the conventional relationship between audience and image to create mesmerizing viewing experiences. Winner of the Turner Prize in 1996 and the Hugo Boss Prize in 1998, he lives and works in New York City, USA, and Glasgow, Scotland.

Phillipe Parreno
Phillipe Parreno’s work explores concepts of narrative, the image as commodity and new exhibition practices. In addition to working with Douglas Gordon, he has created collaborative projects with Pierre Huyghe, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Carsten Höller, and Maurizio Cattelan, among others. He is a co-founder of Anna Sanders Films, a Paris-based film production company that creates cinema oscillating between document and fiction. He lives and works in Paris, France.


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