Online streaming
27 / 06 / 2014 - 27 / 09 / 2014

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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Paul Pfeiffer is an artist working in the field of video, photography, installation art and sculpture since the late nineties. Pfeiffer probes the way technologies at once shape and alter our daily visual experience. Digitally manipulating or erasing elements from iconic images, many of them taken from sports events or Hollywood films, Pfeiffer adopts today’s frenetic visual language in order to explore our relationship to cultural spectacle.


Paul Pfeiffer was born in Honolulu, Hawaii. He has had solo exhibitions at the Whitney Museum of American Art (2001), MIT’s List Visual Arts Center and the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (2003), the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne (2005), MUSAC León, Spain (2008) and Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin (2009) as well as a career retrospective at Sammlung Goetz in Munich, Germany (2011). He is currently working on projects for the Museum of Contemporary Art and Design, Manila (2014) and Museo Madre, Naples (2015).