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Details On Steve McQueen Retrospective At Art Institute Of Chicago (14 Short Films + More)

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by Tambay A. Obenson
October 18, 2012 11:57 AM
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Following up with Sergio's August post which announced Chicago's planned large-scale exhibition of British filmmaker Steve McQueen's work, set to open October 21 (this weekend), and runs through January 6, 2013.

Taking place at the Art Institute, Chicago, the institution has revealed what the exhibition will include.

Of note, you'll get to watch 14 of McQueen's short films, which he made over the last 20 years - some projected in open spaces; others, like Western Deep, a 2002 film on a South African gold mine, are screened more cinematically.

Other short films include: Deadpan, a 1997 piece that recreates a Buster Keaton scene where a house topples over the actor - starring the director himself, and his earliest film, Bear, is a 10-minute fight scene that McQueen filmed while in college. 

Some of the newer work includes a 6-hour piece about declassified FBI files on blacklisted entertainer/activist Paul Robeson, titled End Credits, which plays on a loop, and features a 15-hour soundtrack. 

The installation also includes a rarely exhibited photo of a swimmer warming up, as well as Queen and Country -  postage stamps memorializing Iraq soldiers.

We’re seeing the way he can have this fluid exchange between the world of fine arts and commercial cinema... Whenever you return it won’t be same experience twice,” says James Rondeau, the museum’s Curator of Contemporary Art.

As for McQueen himself, he had this to say about working in two worlds: “I’ve never felt the two practices to be different. I don’t feel I have to change or mold myself in order to work in either medium.

The exhibit is also notable in that it will be housed in Regenstein Hall, which is nearly 20,000 square feet. “We’ve blown the whole space open,” says curator Rondeau.

If I lived in Chicago, I'd definitely check this out. 

Of course, look for his Twelve Years A Slave in movie theaters next year.

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