One hour before kick-off, the neutral area separating opposing forces was invaded and compromised. The depths of architectural decay were quickly revealed; passive-aggression turned to aggression, fear and chaos. The wall collapsed. 39 people died and more than 600 were injured before disaster became spectacle as officials decided that the show must go on. The game was played and the impossible became possible as a winner was later declared on the day.
The Heysel tragedy in 1985, provides one point of departure for the work exhibited in ‘Saved by an Unseen Crack.’ Marcin Dudek’s autobiographical experience, offer another. From flags to fairy tales to monumental failings, questions of romantic nationalism are put into play in a physical and mental battle. Unlike the sculpture by Patrick Rimoux that commemorates the event (and will soon be destroyed), Dudek’s works do not reference the actors in this incident, but instead structure an artistic field of fear, fanaticism and invented enemies, several of which he appears aware may be himself.