Serpentine Gallery are to show Steve McQueen’s film Grenfell at Serpentine South from Friday 7th April until 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.
Paul 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.
Serpentine South Gallery is at Kensington Gardens, London, W2 3XA.
Content note: Visitors are advised that the film contains close-up imagery of the tower six months after the fire. There will be a space to pause, rest and reflect in the galleries.
Booking a ticket: Screenings of Grenfell will take place at set times, please book a free timed slot in advance and arrive with your mobile ticket or printed e-booked ticket. Doors open fifteen minutes before the start time and the screening will commence promptly. This work is intended to be seen from the start, so unfortunately latecomers cannot be admitted. The film is 24 minutes long. Filming or photography is not permitted in the gallery space