Forever – The Ball
football as a topic in art
World Cup Seoul 2002
Forever – The Ball
It is the general opinion, that (most) artists reflect society and their living conditions via art. The art museums are overwhelmed with two different type of artistic expressions manifesting themselves in formal abstract works which obviously depict another than the visibly perceivable reality, and nearly the contrary – the criticsm of the current, reflecting current political, social or environmental issues. Strange enough, that certain fields of life in which really many people are engaged in -, for instance, leisure activities like sport serving well-being and health which additionally have an enormous social impact do obviously not represent topics in art, but why?
It is not for the first time that Wilfried was choosing unconventional topics for curatorial project – and choosing the most popular sport “football” (Soccer) which is attracting millions and millions of people all over the world, was as unusual. By preparing the project, it became obvious why – a juxtaposition of two opposites – the physical in shape of physical exertion and the rather immaterial – intellectual/sensual one which obvious both have not much in common with each other.
Wilfried actually was looking for cooperations with institutional structures dedicated to sport & culture, but there aren’t many. He found at first many open doors, but as soon as it became obvious that it was about art, any of Wilfried’s attempts were declined, as if art would be something like a desease. On the other hand, the artists were speaking quite respectless of such sports professionals as mono-dimensional, intellectually restricted type of human beings………so, sport and art was something which did not fit.
Wilfried had himself conflicting feelings – in childhood and during the school he did not like to practice any sports, but he liked to watch how other people did, like wintersport or athletics like olympic games etc, on the other hand, after high school starting his studies and entering an actors school, confronted with the physical movement of dance and performance he became an enthusiast by taking additionally privat dance lessons in classical ballet, jazz and tap dance, but now it was about “art”, while doing sport remained something “empty”.
In fact, Wilfried never liked “football” (soccer) as a mass phenomenon and he even liked less the typical American football, but during his travels around the world which were leading him often to poor countries, especially football (soccer) had an enormous socially integrating function by taking young poor people from the streets and prevent their criminalization. The carreers of the best football players started in such small sporting clubs giving young people support and orientation, and this aspect of sports Wilfried found most exciting.
Wilfried had a kind of key experience when he was visting Brazil in 2005. He was invited to participate in the symposium FILE Electronic Language Festival in Sao Paulo, and afterwards while visiting some friends in Rio de Janeiro he was strolling along the Copacabana beach where he was observing some youth playing football on the beach – and then he saw a banner showing the reason – football for peace – Wilfried had joint by coincidence a (beach) football match of several youth teams from different countries, and in this very moment he understood how important it was to practice alreday in young age international understanding. Wilfried was really impressed and saw at this with completely different eyes.
It took some time, until he found a proper concept for using “moving images”, and following his heart as always, he published an open call, not knowing what kind of submissions would come in.
But then when Wilfried was reviewing the videos, it was perfect, from his point of view, each video was dealing with another apect and the diversity of these aspects allowed him to create a complex image of a complex matter.
Also at this point, for a better understanding it is important to state, that Wilfried’s projects had never the intension to promote individual art works by individual artists, but create new and complex images by composing the involved videos to a unity of a Whole.
Of course, also in the new film collection “Forever! The Ball” the individual contributions have their individual value, but being a part of the Whole is representing the higher value and goal, being part of that complex image which Wilfried would like to offer to the audience as an inspiration.
On 23 April 2002, Wilfried was sending his contribution to the International Flag Art Exhibition organised on occasion of the football World Cup 2002 World Cup 2002 in Seoul. The area around the World Cup stadium was a huge open air exhibtion. The image below is documenting Wilfried’s flag (marked with the red arrow).