Paul Pfeiffer Debuts Online-Only Artwork for World Cup

Paul Pfeiffer, Jerusalem (2014) Photo: Screenshot of work, courtesy Artangel


England having gotten knocked out of the 2014 World Cup in the group stage serves as yet another painful reminder for the football-loving nation (perhaps second only to World Cup hosts Brazil) of their rather pitiful luck on the sport’s biggest stage. But, in 1966, things were different. In one of sport’s most famous—and most controversial—contests in history, the English side beat West Germany in overtime to win the cup.

Such is the subject of American artist Paul Pfeiffer‘s latest work. Jerusalem, which debuted on Friday on a sub-domain of its commissioning arts organization, Artangel. (See the work, here.) The piece couples together archival footage of the game and its crowds with a wide mix of audio tracks all also from 1966.

Those tracks fall on the range from the sound to buzzing bees to John Cage and Morton Feldman’s Happenings for Radio, from BBC and German news coverage of the match to a conversation between then-President Lyndon B. Johnson and defense secretary Robert McNamara. Viewers can select which track to accompany the game, the players flickering in and out of visibility as if in some hazy memory of the real event.

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