Zinédine Zidane was a member of the French national soccer team that won both the 1998 FIFA World Cup and the Euro 2000 Championship. In Zidane, A 21st Century Portrait, internationally renowned artists Douglas Gordon (b. Glasgow, Scotland, 1966) and Philippe Parreno (b. Oran, Algeria, 1964) have deployed contemporary conventions of mass media both to "paint" a portrait of the soccer star, and to portray our cultural creation of, and fascination with, heroes and icons.
This contemporary portrait of Zinédine Zidane was filmed during a championship match between Real Madrid and Villarreal on 23 April 2005. The artists positioned seventeen cameras throughout Madrid’s Santiago Bernabéu stadium and directed a team of camera operators to remain fixed on the French soccer star throughout the entire match. This installation juxtaposes a film composed of footage from all seventeen cameras with the raw footage from camera number one. Zidane’s image is projected larger than life so that his every gesture and expression are emphasized. The soundtrack shuttles the viewer between the sounds of the game and an ethereal, introspective space, creating a radically different experience of both soccer and portraiture. Zidane is highly experimental as a portrait, as cinema and as soccer, fusing familiar mediums and genres to produce a radically different experience of spectatorship.