Homage to Balotelli’s Missed Trick, figure with motor and sound, 2013
Homage to Balotelli's Missed Trick, 2013
The work is a small sculpture of football player Mario Balotelli. When spectators get close to the sculpture, it turns around inversely, and we hear stadium noise from speakers. First, the crowd is excited (Balotelli is going to score, they believe), then they are confused (suddenly Balotelli chooses not to score) and finally, they boo him (what a disrespectful behavior). See the video here.
In this football match against the USA team L.A. Galaxy, Balotelli wastes an open opportunity to score. He runs towards the ball, but when he reaches it, suddenly he gives up, decides not to score, turns the ball in the opposite direction and slowly sends it out with his heel. He probably did not plan to do this before the match. Balotelli performs the most forbidden behavior within the mentality of contemporary ethos: he wastes an opportunity! In the context of the dominant discourse of success, he is a sinner. We can say that he betrays himself or if we want to understand it positively, we can also say that he overcomes himself.
The work is an homage to this elusive gesture of resistance against the demand for performance and success.
The related notions of misperformance, strike, not-participating and resistance are also explored in works such as Collector's Wish (2012), Silence Performance (2013) and Strike (2016).