90 MINUTES

Merrell Publishers

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This is a book of seminal moments; not Neil Armstrong's first step or Princess Diana's tragedy, but events possibly even more profound for some people. Billions watch World Cup football games on television and we at Atelier are always amongst them. But we are of a generation that still remember watching games in flickering black and white, then in lurid colour, with all the image distortion of early satellite technology. It is these hazy TV images that we still recall, many years later.

The artist Robert Davies sourced film footage from every World Cup tournament since 1932 (that's 17 championships up to 2002). He played them over and over again to identify the pivotal moments of well-known games. He calls these 'epiphanies', the game-changing moments imprinted on our collective memory.


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Robert's images are both abstract and documentary, so Atelier designed the book to be an artist's catalogue as well as a definitive World Cup record. The photographs are sequenced according to the time of each exceptional incident in that respective game, to form a narrative. From kick-off to half time, to full time and extra time and then penalties, the photographs cover the pivotal moments of an imaginary 90-minute game, featuring the greatest football players, in the most memorable World Cup games, over 70 years.

To some, the photographs Robert created from the original film footage are far more evocative than the final score or the names of the winning goal-scorers. Nevertheless, extended (and very precise) captions were needed for the aficionado. 90 Minutes combines the popularity of football with the visual sophistication of contemporary art.

Published to coincide with the 2006 FIFA World Cup.

208 pages, hardback, 26.3 × 26.9 cm

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90Minut4.jpg When we were shown Robert Davies' images we instantly remembered the 'Cruyff Turn' as immortalised in the 1974 Holland v Sweden match. To make this move, he looked to cross the ball but instead, dragged it behind his left foot with the inside of his right foot, while at the same time turning 180 degrees to control the football now rolling away from the challenging defender. This was so astounding that the next day we remember everyone trying to practice it in the school playground.

90Minut5.jpg "It's a red card for David Beckham! Oh, no!"

90Minut6.jpg "And here comes Hurst! He's got... Some people are on the pitch! They think it's all over!
It is now, it's four!"

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An exhibition of Robert's work was staged at the Blue Gallery (see Blue Gallery). Entitled 'Epiphany', Atelier designed the exhibition catalogue in the format of a referee's pocket notebook. Of course, the launch of the show featured red and yellow invitation cards.

Related project: Blue Gallery

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