To mark his first solo exhibition in Italy organised in Milan by Fondazione Prada, British artist Steve McQueen (London, 1969) has conceived the display area as a succession of rooms that create an emotional dynamism. They alternate moments of silent intensity with others suffused by an enchanted atmosphere or an alienating desperation.
The crucial fulcrum of the exhibition is a large videoinstallation called Pursuit (2005), a combination of architecture and a video installation in which the walls are covered by reflective material and the moving images fluctuate in the void in a series of infinite reflections. Installed inside the room with the mirrors, the video becomes a part of the space and is transformed into a visual and aural kaleidoscope.
Curated by Germano Celant, the exhibition presents a series of works that differ in technique and content. The first room features Caribs’ Leap (2002) and New Year’s Day (2002), After Evening Dip, Mees 8 (2002, 2005) and in a separate space Charlotte (2004) is projected; the show concludes with two video projections in different rooms: Girls, Tricky (2001) and Western Deep (2002).
Drawing on improvisation techniques developed by the avant-garde, McQueen built a film narrative that distanced him from traditional cinema and led him to adopt a freer approach in which fortuitousness and uncertainty are typical features. Making use of the intensity of images and their capacity to conjure the extraordinary out of the ordinary, McQueen arouses pathos through the use of unorthodox narrative associations. Episodic in structure, the progress of the film is not linear but magnetises our gaze with an interplay of images and memories that aim to alter the notion of reality.
Venue of the exhibition: Fondazione Prada, via Fogazzaro 36, Milan