Title: The Perfect Penalty Kick
Artist: Daniel Incandela
Materials: Steel goal, netting, 309 leather soccer balls
Over the years, penalty kicks have provided the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. Nations have cried with despair or joy as their teams have hoisted trophies as a result of one penalty kick, one miss, or one goal as it flies past the keeper. Grown men have collapsed on the field after a miss, a save or a piece of misfortune, standing 12 yards from the goal, thousands of fans feeling the same pain. I wrote about the meaning of penalty kicks, here.
Taking a penalty kick is very much like living life. You have to take risks, you face potential humiliation or failure, you intend success. And during this entire process it’s testing, emotional, and filled with opportunities to grow. It can define you.
The Perfect Penalty Kick pays homage to the cruelty and ecstasy of this test. It provides a glimpse of what has occurred in the past (309 soccer balls to be exact), but it presents a clear path; a small, open section of the goal in the upper corner – the future.
The future, is essentially defining the perfect penalty kick – it’s in the top corner, to the goal keepers left (most are right handed), and the farthest spot from the ground-center. To make this shot requires incredible accuracy, confidence and audacity.
It’s a risk.
This installation speaks for itself in that regard. But it’s also a test, to all potential challengers. It’s an open test to everyone and asks a simple question.
Can you score the perfect penalty kick?
This installation is participatory. Soccer fans will have the chance of achieving penalty kick perfection. It’s a challenge, it’s fun, and it will be incredibly rewarding (or frustrating).
All you need is a soccer ball, some cheekiness and good aim.
Renderings and video courtesy of Michele Jasper.