THE HALF DECENT FOOTBALL MAGAZINE

Coup de tête, Adel Abdessemed's sculpture of Zinedine Zidane's headbutt on Marco Materazzi features in a new exhibition in a New York gallery. The press notes explain everything: "While it presents a realistic rendition of the event, Abdessemed’s slightly larger-than-life, resin sculpture is not so much a commemoration of the incident itself as it is a testament to the emotions and underlying narratives which often accompany major sports events. By distilling the moment of Zidane’s much scrutinised violent impulse, Abdessemed’s work draws attention to the verbal insults and provocations that often flourish in the sport without any visible manifestation, and further emphasises the obsessive interest in drama that lies beyond the game itself.

As such, it reverberates with the underlying theme of the exhibition, which is concerned with familiar manifestations of aggression and violence. Drawing on a multitude of seemingly converse and often visually spectacular references and symbols, Abdessemed highlights the interconnectedness of innate aspects of human behavior, while at the same time challenging passive modes of spectatorship."

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