Heisenberg’s Offside



Selected from GETXOPHOTO 


Heisenberg’s Offside is a panoramic image taken with a web cam during the qualifying match between Switzerland and France for the 2005 World Cup. Positioned right over the centre of the pitch, under the roof of the stadium, the camera was programmed to take 3.003 images, one every three seconds, for 165 minutes. It starts to the left, half an hour before the start of the game, showing the public waiting expectantly; it continues towards the centre of the pitch, while the first and second half take place; and it ends by focussing down to the right, half an hour after the end of the game, while the stadium empties. Then all the single images were the chronolocicaly combined to one Panoramamic view.
Jules Spinatsch uses surveillance technology to create an unusual panopticon that shows football through what is normally left out of its representation as a spectacle. The ball is not seen, and the game itself is invisible. Instead, a technical and human apparatus made up of photographers, camera operators, microphones, a few players, thousands of fans and above all grass, comes to light. It is, in his words, an “event-landscape” that translates the density of a super-media event into an offside visual construction in which the spectacle remains off camera, offside.

Jules Spinatsch was born in Davos, Switzerland, in 1964 and he currently lives in Zurich. He studied Electrotechnics and Sociology at the University of Zurich and Documentary photography at the ICP New York. Afterwards, he worked as a photojournalist and since 2000 has worked mainly on his personal projects. His works include the Surveillance Panorama Projects, with programmed cameras or Temporary Discomfort a series on global summits, that was shown in the MoMA New York. He has received awards including the Prix du Livre de Les Rencontres d’Arles for his book on the above-mentioned series, the International BMW Photography Prize of Paris Photo, the Swiss Art Award and the Werkpreis Telos Stiftung. His work has been exhibited at the Haus der Kunst (Munich), Tate Modern (London), Palais de Beaux Arts (Brussels), Palazzo Strozzi (Florence), Nederlands Fotomuseum NFM, Nederlands Architecture Museum NAI Rotterdam and the Centre de la Photographie (Geneva), and is part of the collections of institutions such as Kunsthaus Zurich, Fotomuseum Winterthur, Fondatione MAST Bologna, MoMA New York, San Francisco MoMA, Nelson Atkins Museum Missouri, Collection National des Arts Plastique CNAP Paris or Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Jules Spinatsch has published a dozen monographs, the latest in 2021, Davos is a Verb.

Getxophoto is an image festival created and managed by Begihandi, that has been taking place in Getxo—Basque Country, Euskadi—since 2007. This festival is part of a cultural ecosystem with the aim of being more participatory, hybrid, committed and sustainable. This thematic Festival is conceived as a platform that addresses contemporary challenges through different proposals, from visual storytellers around the world, in an attempt to create spaces for reflection and establish a collective conversation. Getxophoto is characterized by the radical defense of public space (both physical and online). For this reason, most of its programme is composed of outdoor installations, highlighting, on the one hand, the link between the image and the environment and, on the other, generating a more horizontal and participatory relationship with the public.
María Ptqk is the curator of GETXOPHOTO 2023.

Copyright © Jules Spinatsch and Getxophoto, all rights reserved

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