Following the launch of ‘Football: Designing the Beautiful Game’ at Wolverhampton Art Gallery, the city’s gallery has announced the screening of Zidane, a 21st century portrait alongside the summer exhibition.

Directed by Scottish-born artist Douglas Gordon (b.1966) and Algerian-born artist Philippe Parreno (b.1964), the 2006 film focuses on the playing style of the celebrated French footballer Zinédine Zidane during a match between his Spanish club Real Madrid and Villarreal on 23 April 2005. Inspired by Zidane and constructs of modern portraiture, their ambitious collaboration uses footage shot by seventeen synchronised film and video cameras placed around the stadium to track Zidane in real time over the course of a single match.

The film is an intimate portrait of the star footballer, capturing him from multiple angles, up close and afar, and remains steadfastly fixed on him even when the central action of the match moves elsewhere. The resulting footage of the match was edited together with excerpts from the Spanish television commentary.

Sound is an important part of the powerful impact of Zidane, bursts of noise from a crowd of over 72,000 spectators is interspersed with a rousing soundtrack provided by Scottish post-rock band Mogwai. Zidane transforms the ordinary experience of a football match into a powerful and theatrical portrait of a celebrated sportsman and a compelling study of the human mind and body under extreme pressure.

The film premiered at the Cannes Film Festivals in May 2006 and was featured at the Edinburgh Film Festival later that year. This project was born out of a love that Parreno had as a child when watching football matches on TV.

He would concentrate solely on his favourite player and assiduously try to study the player throughout the match. Gordon and Parreno refer to portraiture by Velazquez and Goya and identify Andy Warhol’s real-time film portraits as the ‘direct source for the portrait [they] were hoping to paint.’

The result is a concentrated and absorbing study offering a unique perspective on the legendary player’s contribution to the match, contrasting bursts of furious activity with long periods of intense mental and emotional focus. The film is presented as a double projection; thus, the viewpoint of the audience is altered emphasising the interest of both artists in new ways of looking at something that may seem familiar.

With free admission, the film will be screened from Saturday 29 June to Sunday 20 October. The duration is 90 minutes and visitors are welcome to pop in and out of their chosen screening time.

City of Wolverhampton Council Director of Vibrant City, Ian Fegan, said: “We definitely have the football fever this summer in Wolverhampton and the addition of Zidane, a 21st century portrait to the summer programme gives just another insight into the beautiful game.

“So far hundreds of visitors have seen the internationally renowned exhibition ‘Football: Designing the Beautiful Game’ and I encourage people to visit the Gallery to see ‘Zidane, a 21century portrait’ and experience football and one of the world’s most iconic players in a new light.” Whether you are a fanatical fan, a sideline supporter or a lover of design, you can also join the crowds and visit Football: Designing the Beautiful Game, a touring exhibition from the Design Museum, London, where you will have a ball discovering the remarkable design stories behind the world’s number one sport.

Free and on until Sunday 1 September, the exhibition and screening can be seen during gallery opening hours - Monday to Saturday (10.30am – 4.30pm) and Sunday (11am - 4pm).