Roger Federer recently took part in the “burn shine fly” project by Ugo Rondinone, a Swiss contemporary artist. An unprecedented experience for the Basel tennis player, who notably had to play the living models.
Retired from the tennis courts since last September, will Roger Federer become a living model in the service of art? If the question around his future still remains unanswered, one thing is certain: the 41-year-old from Basel is enjoying his new life.
In addition to having put on his skis after 15 years of scarcity and made a remarkable appearance at Paris Fashion Week, the winner of 20 Grand Slam titles has immersed himself in the world of art. He thus “lent” his body to the artist Ugo Rondinone for the realization of “burn shine fly”, a creation exhibited at the Venice Biennale last year.
In this project launched at the end of 2021 and supported by “Swiss credit“, Federer agreed to become one of the seven sculptures of the work of Rondinone, installed in a church of the Italian city. The “Master” had to show himself in a new light: in particular, he was suspended in the air, in his underwear, and also had his face completely covered with molding materials.
Federer: ‘You feel vulnerable’
An experience as new as it is disturbing for Federer. “You feel vulnerable. You’re feeling good. And not good because … everyone is watching you,” he admitted in a promotional video. “I’m used to people staring at me when I’m on the tennis court. But in this case, I have my racket, which is a bit like my hammer of Thor. I have my outfit, which is a kind of uniform. I have my favorite shoes, my headband, and I’m ready to go.”
“The fact that I’m being filmed doesn’t bother me. But being in your underwear, suspended by a harness, is a very different situation. That’s what I think was also unusual for me,” said the Swiss star, who shared “his incredible experience” on social media on Tuesday.