‘The only doctrine I have as an artist is to not allow the dust of the past to settle.’
Steve McQueen W.E.B. Du Bois Medal acceptance speech, Harvard University, 2014
For this exhibition, McQueen will present two new works. The first, entitled Ashes, 2014, is installed as an immersive projection with sound. It was shot on Super8 film with a haunting verbal soundtrack, recently recorded in Grenada. Much of the footage dates from 2002 and was taken by the legendary cinematographer, Robbie Muller. The deceptively simple film was commissioned by Espace Louis Vuitton, Tokyo and shown there earlier this year. At No. 11, we will be showing an entirely sculptural installation‘Broken Column’, which acts as a pendant to ‘Ashes’.
Over the last twenty years McQueen has been the author of some of the most seminal works of the moving image designed for gallery-based presentation, as well as three films for cinematic release, Hunger (2008), Shame (2010) and 12 Years a Slave (2013). In this new exhibition, the artist’s signature is evident, yet he further extends the range of his enquiry into the image and the object. His work hovers between the specific and the universal, the literal and the abstract, evading definition and multiplying experiential and interpretive possibilities. Certain works stem from McQueen’s unflinching observation of the self – sometimes with ambiguous carnal undertones. Others drawn from a potent, at times bleak, political consciousness, which addresses specific historical moments. This new exhibition brings together these and other formal and conceptual strands of McQueen’s work.