Le plus long ballon du monde

Nikolaj Copenhagen Contemporary Art Center – Until the the 8th of August
In the year of the 2010 World Cup, Nikolaj Copenhagen Contemporary Art Center
presents KICK OFF, an exhibition about art and football.
In critical and imaginative ways a select group of international artists will offer extraordinary perspectives on football’s spectacular finals and scandals, its colourful fan culture and outrageous hooliganism, the massive mediatisation and branding, the rules of the game and the creativity of the players, and not least the long-lasting power of football to fascinate us, saturating the lives of millions of people. As Spanish author Mario Vargas Llosa famously noted, football means everything and nothing. Football both transcends and reinforces social, national and cultural borders, on and off the pitch, and thus functions equally as an escape and a mirror.
Over the past decades, football, through massive investments and well-planned branding strategies, has become a business raking in billions and with an enormous global power of fascination. Today, football is a movement captivating hundreds of millions of people, permeating not only the way it is covered in journalistic terms, but also advertising, fashion, computer games, films – and visual art.
With the thematic group exhibition Kick Off, Nikolaj, Copenhagen Contemporary Art Center, wishes to give a critical-aesthetical impulse to the football fever which will no doubt be raging before and during this year’s World Cup, the first ever to take place on the African continent – and this time around with the participation of the Danish national team.

The exhibition approaches football as a multi-faceted phenomenon by applying various artistic gazes – on its spectacular finals and scandals, its prestigious transfers and building of arenas, its colourful fan culture and despicable hooliganism, its iconography and massive merchandising, its brutality and creativity, its star worship, and its unique ability to inform, and even define, the loyal supporter’s everyday life.

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