Jean Baudrillard and the loss of the referent. Imaginaries of "vacuum packed" sports


This proposal further investigates the metaphor of "vacuum packed" sports outlined by Jean Baudrillard in reference to the closure of the stadium to the supporters when Real Madrid and Naples played the Champions league match on 16 September 1987. The gamewas heldbehind closed doors for safety reasons. Media broadcasting of that event inspired Baudrillard's reflections on the "hyperrealism of our world", inasmuch as it is nourished by symbolic simulacra linked to ubiquitous "advertising and media semiologization". This phenomenon also deals with the "disappearance of art" and the "transparence of evil" in the era of televised conflict.The disaster of the Heysel Stadium in Brussels (29 May 1985) appears even now as further proof of television's referential power triggered by the perception of risk and vulnerability. In line with McLuhan's mediology and Barthes' semiology, Baudrillard foresaw the imaginary of "vacuum packed" events that have lost their social and symbolic flair due to a shift in our media consumption.

DOI Code: 10.1285/i22840753n20p295

Keywords: communicatio; sports; pandemic; public sphere; audience

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