The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) has a special exhibition related to the game and its cultural effects of societies around the globe entitled Fútbol: The Beautiful Game. The Exhibit is exquisite in its scope and diversity of medium: sculpture, paintings, video installations, and photography, among other mediums. If you are in LA, between now and July 20, 2014 – SEE IT.
The Exhibit is only half of the top floor of the Broad Contemporary Art Museum, but plan to spend at least two if not 4 hours there. There are two full match length must see videos: one is Miguel Calderon’s 2004 video where he digitally created what his beloved El Tri could not, a 17-0 beating of Brazil. It is pretty amazing to watch, even with my less than amorous relationship with the Mexican National Team.
ABSOLUTE MUST SEE IN ITS ENTIRETY – Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait – In 2006, for a single match [Real Madrid v. Villarea, April 23, 2005] 17 cameras at the Bernabéu were trained on JUST ON ZIZOU… Every second of the match is of him without commentary just the crowd noise and stadium announcers. .. It is intoxicating to watch honestly.
Also for those La Liga fans who predate Messi and C-Ron, flashes of Raul, Beckham, “Real” Ronaldo, Guti, even Michael Owen happen by. Although he was there, on the pitch for the full time, I did not see my beloved Riquelme.. I was too adsorbed to notice much of anything else and there are no cutways, no match highlights broader than Zizou’s reaction, including his 90th minute redcard. There are two huge screens covering the match so you see him at different angles.
Volta is a piece that is to be the oppose of Zidane’s singular perfection. It is a handheld piece by Stephen Dean taken of stadium crowds in Brazil, it shows the agony and the ecstasy of the fans watching. It got me ready for Brazil 2014…
MY FAVORITE piece was a 9:33 minute video of players celebrating wins or goals or stops but celebrating together as one. It is a broad-based coverage of country and club moments, including the USMNT and Dempsey celebrating at Fulham. It was a beautiful view of pure joy for anyone watching, but reliving many of those moments was extraordinary. Watch the entire video…
Among some of the other wondering finds are a fantastic B&W photo of Maldini, a painting of Samuel E’oto which is simply stunning and a larger than life print of Busquets on the ground during the infamous peek-a-boo dive. There a Warhol of Pele, a painting of George Best, and a pretty spectacular video installation of three videos running clips of different dives. It is mesmerizing and comical..
My one criticism of the collection and it is an issue with the way it was curated.. There is ALMOST ZERO representation of female players, not it a 9:33 minute video, not in a picture, not in a painting… The only representation is that of what I assume to be a female player dribbling and playing keepy-uppy, but it is hard to tell since she is blotted out with a bright pink light.. her face and form are never seen, just the outline of a head and body.There are several female artists included in the collection but they overwhelmingly present male athletes as well. The collection promulgates the theory that female athletes are unworthy of discussion, celebration and attention, and the sexist, absurd notion the female contribution to sport should be only for promotion of male athletes and the male game.
With that (rather large) caveat, it is a wonderfully put together exhibition and celebration the beautiful game.[It should be noted, admission to LACMA is $15 for general admission; LA County residents can go for free after 3:00 P.M. weeknights, excluding Weds.]