WBEZ | Shame http://www.wbez.org/tags/shame Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Artist Steve McQueen transforms the Art Institute of Chicago http://www.wbez.org/blogs/alison-cuddy/2012-10/artist-steve-mcqueen-transforms-art-institute-chicago-103279 <p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center; "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Steve-McQueen-Charlotte_480.png" style="height: 380px; width: 620px; " title="Steve McQueen, Charlotte (courtesy Art Institute of Chicago)" /></div><p>Mere steps inside the Steve McQueen exhibition you&#39;ll realize this is a completely different sort of show for the Art Institute of Chicago.</p><p>For one, the exhibition space is mainly dark - and vast. The first work is <em>Static</em>, McQueen&#39;s 2009 film which consists of a swirling shot of the Statute of Liberty. You can imitate the circling movements of the film by moving around the large two-sided rectangular screen.</p><p>Further in you&#39;ll pass a close-up of an eye bathed in red light, called <em>Charlotte</em>, after the British actress Charlotte Rampling. In another room three of McQueen&#39;s better known installations come together in a wide triangular structure:&nbsp;<em>Bear (1993)</em>,&nbsp;<em>Five Easy Pieces (1995)</em> and&nbsp;<em>Just Above My Head<strong>&nbsp;</strong>(1996).&nbsp;</em></p><p>In fact the entire space has been sculpted to present McQueen&#39;s work, including the construction of a series of small dark screening rooms that are accessed long passages with padded walls. At times it feels a little like traveling through one of those cinematic spaceships, only instead of the usual blindingly white interior, all the lights have been turned out.</p><p>McQueen isn&#39;t well-known in the United States, at least not outside art circles. Mention his name and most people will think you&#39;re talking about the late star of films like <em>Bullit</em> or <em>The Great Escape.</em></p><p>Adding to the confusion, McQueen is probably best known here for directing some recent feature films, including&nbsp;<em>Hunger</em> and <em>Shame.</em></p><p>This review, covering 20 years of his work, will introduce the artist to a wider circle of fans. But even those familiar with McQueen&#39;s work will have the opportunity to encounter new work. His 2003 installation&nbsp;<em>Queen and Country</em> is being shown in the U.S. for the very first time.</p><p>You&#39;ll find it in a small, well-lit room near the back of the exhibition. McQueen worked with photos of British soldiers who died in Iraq. He printed them up as large sheets of postage stamps. They&#39;re framed in glass and hung in a large wooden cabinet.</p><p>He made it in 2003, as the British Imperial Museum&#39;s Official War Artist to Iraq, and aimed for a different view of the war.</p><p>McQueen says his ambition was &quot;to look at this conflict outside of newspapers, outside of television or whatever we get information from as far as how we get our information on conflicts.&quot;</p><p><em>The Steve McQueen retrospective is at the Art Institute through next January.</em></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 19 Oct 2012 15:08:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/alison-cuddy/2012-10/artist-steve-mcqueen-transforms-art-institute-chicago-103279