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By Wand Agency
The Modern Football Player (2007)
Modern Football Player represents the fashionable, current way football players are seen by people. They are considered to be the new Gods; leaders whom to follow and copy.
Focus of this installation, definitely severe and boundary-setting in its communication, is to draws a parallel between religion, more specifically Catholicism and modern, somehow distorted- sports leading figures. As the football player, contemporary icon and god-like figure, raises the ball above his head to signify his control over as well as his possession of it, and his glory over success during public exposure, so does the priest raise above his head the holy wafer during the consecration liturgy, to indicate the strength he absorbs from a power not everyone can partake in, the apogee of his divine sharing. Control lays in the hands of the chosen few, who can act as entertainers, guides, icons, figures into which everyone can project their frustrated narcissistic phantasies of omnipotence and glory, of being part of an elite, of being extolled for their much envied uniqueness. In Church, as in the stadium, Fab3 suggests that one can bask for a while in the spotlight/divine light of those who are above, unreachable, those who cannot be antagonised but are there to impose an agonising standard, not to be reached but to be feared. Like paternal figures, seductive, potent, powerful, yet castrating, football player and priest cannot but be celebrated, thus relieve those in their presence of either their inferiority concerns or of their own fantasies of divine rule over others.
The spectators/church-goers are stripped of their individuality by being portrayed through stick-figures, smaller in size, naked of any humanity, standing begging for meaning, for the glorified father to blow the air of life into them, to acknowledge their right to existence. Partaking in one's glory makes them glorious, protects them from the potential fury of those who seem so overpowering. Being their admirer secures a VIP ticket to "heaven". The spectators/believers are there precisely in order to highlight the divinity of the superhuman, whom they both envy, desire, need, and fear. There is no real relation between spectators and the superhuman figure of the football player, other than a fantasy net, knitted for different purpose on each side, to support the distance between them. The crowd needs to be hypnotised, for no other state of mind could tolerate that segregation. They, football player and priest alike, have access to the divine mother, the super-model wife, the wealth of glory, fame, and paradise. Here the phrase "if you can't beat them, join them" best describes the committed disavowal of one's own uniqueness and placement of it on a figure outside the self that can be safely loved or hated, act as a protector, entertainer, or demagogue. The interdependence of crowd and superhuman figure is astounding, as is the understanding that one can be on either side. Fab3 brings us through this installation to the peeping hole that offers view to our own relationships, public and private, sexual and political, religious and racial, familial and social.