Artforum covers Zidane: un Portrait du 21e Siècle
Zidane appears on the cover of the current issue of Artforum. The issue contains essays by Tim Griffin and Michael Fried on Douglas Gordon and Philippe Parreno’s film Zidane: un Portrait du 21e Siècle. Fried, who situates the film in the modernist tradition of photography, writes:
. . . the viewer’s conviction of the great athlete’s total engagement in the match is not thereby undermined. Instead, the film lays bare a hitherto unthematized relationship between absorption and beholding—more precisely, between the persuasive representation of absorption and the apparent consciousness of being beheld—in the context of art, a relationship that is no longer simply one of opposition or complementarity but that allows a sliding and indeed an overlap that would have seemed unimaginable to Diderot. . . .
And not only does Zidane lay bare this new relationship, it goes on to explore it . . . . Zidane’s inspired investigation of its protagonist’s capacity for absorption under conditions of maximum exposure to being viewed, as well as of the modified and shifting meaning of absorption itself under such conditions, makes it, if not quite a modernist film, at the very least a film that is of the greatest interest to anyone egaged by these and related topics.
Meanwhile, Griffin concludes his essay by returning to Zidane’s inscrutability:
. . . audiences leave the theater with the inevitable realization that Zidane, whether images, symbol, or hero—all real aspects of his being—is also a man we can’t pretend to know at all. Of course, that is his appeal.