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Excerpt from Paul Pfeiffer, Jerusalem (2014)

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Published on Dec 17, 2014

Full work available via: jerusalem.artangel.org.uk/

American artist Paul Pfeiffer's radical reworking of footage from the 1966 FIFA World Cup™ final brings a whole new meaning to the famous phrase uttered by TV commentator Ken Wolstenholme at the end of the match: "They think it's all over, it is now."

Timed to coincide with the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, Jerusalem revisits the most famous occasion in the sporting history of England, broadcast live by the BBC to one of the largest ever live audiences: an estimated 400 million people.

As it was for viewers watching at home in 1966, the pitch is a black and white screen. But in this new work, it has morphed into a digital field of play. As the camera scans across the stadium, figures appear and disappear, fuse into each other and fade away like phantoms from another time. Working with machine vision expert Dr Brian Fulkerson, Pfeiffer has created a painterly study of emptiness and togetherness.

The sound of a cheering, chanting crowd is haunted by voices from 1966; Prime Minister Harold Wilson; the President of the Royal Academy and the President of the United States; Alec Weeks, the BBC professional responsible for the live broadcast; and artist John Cage. Pfeiffer's elegiac work is a reflection on mythology and memory, and on the distance between a live present and a remembered past.
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Commissioned and produced by Artangel and The Space, supported by Arts Council England, The Company of Angels, and The Heritage Lottery Fund.

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