Now publicly known for his provocative, political, and critically applauded feature narrative films Hunger (2008) and Shame (2011 – now playing at Nitehawk), Steve McQueen’s foundation as a contemporary artist has consistently been rooted in the cinematic. Take his 1999 Turner Prize winning silent film Deadpan (see image) in which he incorporates the classic, and comedic, house-falling scene from Buster Keaton’s Steamboat Bill Jr (1928) into a solemnly static and tense representation.
Recently, McQueen’s represented Britain in the 2009 Venice Biennale and produced a very site-specific film Giardini. Here he parallels the fictional and the real (both literally within the split screen and conceptually within the visual narrative) in this historic Italian park.
As contemporary art and film continue to collide, particularly in McQueen’s body of work, get a better insight into the man as artist and filmmaker by watching this interview:
Image: Steve McQueen, Deadpan, 1997, Installation, Collection Centre Pompidou