Dimensions:11 : 4 (continuous loop) minutes
Credit:Presented by the Contemporary Art Society and the artist through its Great Works scheme, supported by the Sfumato Foundation, with additional support from Thomas Dane Gallery, 2018/19
Scheme:Great Works (2016-)
Ownership history:Purchased from the Thomas Dane Gallery by the Contemporary Art Society from its Great Works scheme, supported by the artist, Sfumato Foundation and the Thomas Dane Gallery, 2019; presented to Wolverhampton Art Gallery, 2018/19
We are reminded of early studies of animal locomotion using horses, undertaken by Eadweard Muybridge, the pioneer of early moving image. The medium of film, defined by time and motion, is subverted by McQueen’s static motif: a nature morte , or still life. The beauty of the saturated colours typical of 16mm film and the fall of light on the animal bear comparison with vanitas painting, as a meditation on time, mortality, and the possibilities of preservation through film.
McQueen’s work resonates strongly with the collections at Wolverhampton Art Gallery, which has been a pioneer in collecting film and video. Early acquisitions included Childhood’s End by Cornford & Cross and Let’s Call it Love by Breda Beban – both in 2000. Jane & Louise Wilson, John Smith, Luke Fowler, Larissa Sansour and Willie Doherty all feature in the collection as well. More recently the Gallery acquired films by Keith Piper, Go West Young Man (1996), and Sonia Boyce, Exquisite Tension (2005), as part of a collecting project which focused on the early years of the BLKArt Group in the city. The Gallery also has a comprehensive collection of art related to the Troubles in Northern Ireland, a theme memorably addressed by McQueen in his first feature film Hunger (2008). The collection and programme both have strength in new media and one gallery has been newly refurbished to show artists’ film and video more regularly.
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