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Showing 3 items related to Frieze



Steve McQueen (Frieze)

Article relating to an individual, 1996
Published by: Frieze
Year published: 1996
Number of pages: 4

image of Steve McQueen (Frieze)

Major text on Steve McQueen, in arts magazine Frieze, Issue 28 May 1996, pp. 40-43, by Christian Haye. The cover of the magazine featured a still from McQueen’s film of the previous year, Five Easy Pieces (1995).

In the magazine’s contents page, the feature was listed as ‘MOTION PICTURES: Christian Haye on Steve McQueen’. The article itself was illustrated with a number of stills of McQueen’s work, which had begun to be widely celebrated and press coverage of this type was characterised by a general tone of critical acclaim.  By 1996, McQueen was well on his way to being one of the most important artists to emerge in Britain in the course of the 1990s. His Turner Prize nomination, and indeed, the exhibitions for which he secured his nomination, was still sefveral years off.

From the text: “Before viewing Stage, I wondered if Bear could be interpreted as a simple process of reclaiming the black nude. Cultural critic Judith Wilson went in search of nudes by 19th century black artists and discovered only three which were not of children too primitive to be clothed. While the construction of a future history is painfully important, it is also bound to be almost callously didactic. Bear avoids this both through its eroticism and by presenting a code of blackness undefined by whiteness. It is in Stage that McQueen poses the question: Do I feel blackest when standing against a sharp white background? Two actors, a black man (McQueen himself) and a white woman (actress Margaret Kinnon) seem to be stalking each other but never meet. Their inquisitive glances could imply that they are pursuing each other, but could also suggest that they are just looking. Much like all theories that have placed race in a binary discourse, it is the viewer whose own subjectivity is called into question. McQueen has an answer for the viewer. Interspersed through Stage are tight close-ups of the artist’s own arse, its hole at the centre of the screens.”

Related people

»  Steve McQueen OBE, CBE

Born, 1969 in London, UK

Island Stories | Ameena Meer talks to Keith Piper

Article relating to an individual, 1992
Published by: Frieze
Year published: 1992
Number of pages: 4

image of Island Stories | Ameena Meer talks to Keith Piper

As the 1980s turned into the 1990s, evidence of Keith Piper’s continued status and significance as an artist was reflected in this piece in Frieze magazine (Issue 6, September - October 1992). The in-conversation piece took place between Piper and Ameena Meer, a writer of Indian background born in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1964. Spread across three full pages, the text was accompanied by a dramatic full-page portrait of Piper taken by Anthony Oliver.

The interview was a wide-ranging one, reflecting both Meer’s empathetic and nuanced readings of Piper’s biography, politics, and art work, and Piper’s considered and engaging answers and responses to Meer’s questions and prompts.  References are made to  Piper’s exhibitions such as A Ship Called Jesus, Step Into the Arena, and Trophies of Empire. The last of these exhibitions, for which Piper was both co-curator and contributing artist, was taking place across several UK venues, at the time that this issue of Frieze was published. Throughout the interview, Piper made mention of a number of the artists with whom he emerged into practice and visibility - Sonia Boyce, Claudette Johnson, Donald Rodney, and Marlene Smith. [In references to artists of South Asian origin, Sutapa Biswas was mentioned, though her first name was misspelt as Sipta. Elsewhere, Muhammad Ali’s first name was misspelt as Mohammed.]

In a crafted and engaging series of exchanges, references are made to such culturally and politically significant factors, entitites, and considerations such as the Rodney King riots, Malcolm X, and the histories of Black people on both sides of the Atlantic. Along with passing references to a number of accomplished and prominent African American artists, readers also avail themselves of understandings of Piper’s newer ways of working, that tended to embrace then-new technologies such as the Amiga computer.

From the text. Meer: “How about segregation in terms of the art world here? In New York, there are about five Black, meaning African-American, Asian, South Asian, artists you see in mainstream galleries and I don’t count Jean-Michel Basquiat because he’s dead. So you’ve got Sam Gilliam, Renée Green, Fred Wilson, Adrian Piper, Lorna Simpson, and Glen Ligon - who else? Is that the case here?”

Piper: “Once again, I’m not sure about the process by which those artists in the States come to that level of visibility. In terms of this country, it’s a very specific history. Black artists, from the 30s all the way to the 70s were seen as completely outside the modern mainstream, with just a few exceptions. From the early 80s, there was an upsurge of interest in the work of Black artists, but it was qualified. There was a specific interest in work which expressed a particular type of Black experience and identity, as opposed to an interest in work that was an integral part of the contemporary British art world.”

The text was accompanied with two illustrations (details) of Piper’s video installations. The Fire Next Time (part of A Ship Called Jesus), and Trade Winds (part of Trophies of Empire)

Related people + view all 21

»  Glenn Ligon

Born, 1960 in New York

»  Adrian Piper

Born, 1948

»  Donald Rodney

Born, 1961 in Birmingham, England. Died, 1998

»  Lorna Simpson

Born, 1960 in Brooklyn, New York, USA

»  Marlene Smith

Born, 1964 in Birmingham, England

Related exhibitions + view all 8

»  Trophies of Empire

Group show at The Bluecoat Gallery. 1992

»  Trophies of Empire

Group show at Ferens Art Gallery. 1992

»  Trophies of Empire

Group show at Baths Hall. 1992

»  Trophies of Empire - Arnolfini

Group show at Arnolfini. 1992 - 1993

Related venues + view all 8

»  The Bluecoat Gallery

Liverpool, United Kingdom

»  Ferens Art Gallery

Hull, United Kingdom

»  Ikon Gallery

Birmingham, United Kingdom

»  Merseyside Maritime Museum

Liverpool, United Kingdom

»  Wilberforce Museum

Hull, United Kingdom

Flesh Becomes Words (Steve McQueen)

Article relating to a film, 2008
Published by: Frieze
Year published: 2008
Number of pages: 8

image of Flesh Becomes Words (Steve McQueen)

Substantial 8 page feature on Steve McQueen and his debut feature film, Hunger. Titled Flesh Becomes Words, appeared in Frieze magazine, September 20087, pages 124 - 131 and was written by Caoimhin Mac Giolla Léith. The feature was introduced as, ‘Steve McQueen’s first feature film reveals an artist increasingly interested in the relationship between language and the body’. Profusely illustrated with stills from Hunger, as well as documentation of McQueen’s other work, the text stands as an important introduction to McQueen and his singular practice. Works referenced (and illustrated) included Girls Tricky (2001), Queen and Country (2006), Carib’s Leap/Western Deep (2002), and Charlotte (2004)

From the text:

“This nexus between flesh and word, between corporeality and textuality, is one to which Steve McQueen seems increasingly drawn in recent years. It is an intriguing development in the work of an artist whose early films abjured language, voice and sound altogether – an artist, moreover, whose attitude to language to this day involves an odd blend of fascination and distrust. The series of short black and white 16mm films, including Bear (1993), Five Easy Pieces (1995), Just above My Head, (1996), Deadpan and Catch (both 1997), which first brought McQueen to prominence and ultimately earned him the 1999 Turner Prize, were all notably silent. In hindsight it seems both appropriate and telling that the first of his films to introduce sound into the equation was titled Drumroll (1998). Comprising footage of an oil drum being rolled noisily down the busy streets of midtown Manhattan, Drumroll was shot by three video cameras attached to the drum, one filming through each end and a third through a hole in its side. McQueen’s previous films had all featured, to varying degrees, the powerful physical presence of the artist himself, even if this was not explicitly signalled as such. In Drumroll, which is presented as a triptych, this authorial presence is relegated to the margins, in the form of glimpsed reflections and occasional noises off. It is as though the mute facticity of the artist’s body was ceding something to the complication of his chosen visual medium by the addition of sound. Sound has become increasingly central to McQueen’s work ever since then, as exemplified, for instance, by the infernal noises that feature so prominently in Western Deep (2002), a film that offers glimpses of the physical hardships endured by workers in the depths of a South African gold mine, reputedly the deepest mine in the world. This is sound that registers in the gut before it reaches the ear and is subsequently parsed by the brain: sound in its phenomenal rather than its systemic, which is to say linguistic, aspect. It is sound like this that forms the slowly swelling crescendo accompanying the opening credits of McQueen’s first feature film, Hunger (2008). We gradually become aware of an initially puzzling, faraway din, which is eventually revealed (or confirmed) by the film’s first scene as the deafening percussion of bin lids being clattered in protest on the streets of 1980s’ Northern Ireland.”

This was a particularly empathetic, nuanced reading of McQueen’s work, written, as mentioned, Caoimhín Mac Giolla Léith, a critic, curator and Senior Lecturer in the School of Irish, Celtic Studies, Irish Folklore and Linguistics at University College Dublin, Ireland.

Related people

»  Caoimhin Mac Giolla Léith

Born, 1959 in Dublin, Ireland

»  Steve McQueen OBE, CBE

Born, 1969 in London, UK

Related venues + view all 8

»  The Bluecoat Gallery

Liverpool, United Kingdom

»  Ferens Art Gallery

Hull, United Kingdom

»  Ikon Gallery

Birmingham, United Kingdom

»  Merseyside Maritime Museum

Liverpool, United Kingdom

»  Wilberforce Museum

Hull, United Kingdom