Thursday, 27 September 2012

New Zidane Statue Proves Context is Everything

Context: The 2006 World Cup Final saw Italy and France line up against each other to claim the ultimate 
international footballing prize. It was a close fought match which saw both teams score in the first 20 mins (courtesy of goals from Italy's Marco Materazzi and France's Zinedine Zidane...which is ironic considering what happened next). Then out of the blue Materazzi said something to Zidane and the Frenchman end up turning round and headbutting him... but this wasn't a normal headbutt - no this was a special kind of headbutt that was directed at his chest. Zidane later justified his actions saying that Materazzi had made nasty comments about his sister - oh dear... it is clear to see that Zidane is not a man to enter into banter with over jokes about his mother... He also wanted to say that he was sorry for his actions blah blah blah... but that he did not regret his actions blah blah blah (if I was you I would Zidane)

I was honestly hoping that Zidane would say that he was very sorry that he headbutted him in the chest and that if he had the chance again he would clench his fist and smack him in the face or at least headbutt him in the face like a 'normal' human being. Instead we are left with possibly one of the strangest looking on pitch offences in my mind ...

Roll on six years and just as we were beginning to forget one of the most stupid moments in a world cup final when boom... someone makes a statue of it... yes why not? I mean a man headbutts another man in a match needs to be molded into a bronze statue for the world to see because without it life would just be meaningless... As if the 715.1 million people globally who watched the match live wasn't enough, now the rest can catch a glimpse as well... all you have to do is visit Paris... and here it is...

Ok so we've had the context, but lets de-contextualise it... seriously what the fuck is going on there?... What is happening on Materazzi's face? Is he in pain or is he enjoying this? And Zidane... is he sniffing him, or staring at his crotch? Zidane doesn't look like he's attacking more just looking ready to give Materazzi that face all over again. I am not saying that either man is in fact gay... I'm just saying that whoever made these statues might have wanted to consider a bit of contextualisation here... If we look here and at the actaul photo Materazzi's arm is now above Zidane's which seem to change the feeling of it... that clenched fist looks less like a punch and more like a... Ok so I could go on, but I have had my fun and feel it's time to move on.

The point I also wanted to make is why make a statue of this? This was a moment of violence in a match that  detracted from what should be a peaceful event that brings people together... why immortalise a heabutt.. and a badly directed one at that, when we should maybe immortalise an image of someone lifting the cup... It seems very strange that this of all things was chosen as a great idea for a Bronze statue in Paris...

So, on a day today when John Terry was found guilty by the FA of racial abuse towards Anton Ferdinand, will an artist be commissioned to immortalise this dark moment of sports and society? I fucking hope not... or perhaps it could be an image of Joey Barton stubbing a cigar out in a team mates eye? or Roy Keane breaking Alf-Inge Haaland's legs in a career ending two footed challenge? Of course we won't (I do still have a tiny of fear that human beings can be this ridiculous) so why on God's green earth do we see this?

Please, feel free to explain this to me cause - I am obviously rather heathen and just don't get 'art'.

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