Serpentine to show Steve McQueen’s film Grenfell at Serpentine South from Friday 7th April – Wednesday 10th May.
In December 2017, Steve McQueen made an artwork in response to the fire that took place earlier that year on 14th June at Grenfell Tower in North Kensington West London. 72 people died in the tragedy.
Filming the tower before it was covered with hoarding, McQueen sought to create a record so that it would not be forgotten.
Following the fire, a Government Inquiry was launched that was conducted in two phases. Four years since the publication of the Phase One report, the recommendations are yet to be implemented, meaning a similar tragedy could happen again. The findings of the second and final phase of the Inquiry are due to be reported in late 2023. There is an ongoing criminal investigation.
The artwork will be on view to the public following a period of community outreach and private community viewings, prioritising bereaved and survivors.
I knew once the tower was covered up, it would start to leave people’s minds. I was determined that it never be forgotten.Steven McQueen
Pau1 Gilroy, contributor to the exhibition guide has written:
To me, Steve McQueen’s work suggests that there is much to gain in confronting the meanings of the damaged structure and making the shock of our painful contact with it instructive. Opening ourselves humbly to that possibility can be accomplished without betraying the tower’s plural traumas or the political complexity of this moment in which closure is not an option. We cannot understand Grenfell unless we keep the reality of this building firmly in mind.
Following the exhibition at Serpentine, the work will be placed in the care of Tate and the Museum of London’s collections.
Steven McQueen’s film Grenfell- Book a timed slot in advance HERE
Content note: The film contains close-up imagery of the tower six months after the fire. The film has no narrative story and no dramatisation. There will be a space to pause, rest and reflect in the galleries.