Groundwork | Steve McQueen in Conversation with Nicholas Serota

3 Jun 2018

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Plaza Cinema

England, United Kingdom


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Steve McQueen is a British artist celebrated for his moving image work, and is also the acclaimed director of award-winning feature films.

An exhibition of McQueen’s film Gravesend (2007) is presented for Groundwork at CAST in Helston, from 5 May to 3 June, in a specially constructed black box space, with exceptional sound and image quality. To coincide with the final day of this exhibition, Steve McQueen will discuss his work in conversation with Nicholas Serota, former Director of Tate.

Gravesend is concerned with the mining of coltan, a dull black mineral used in capacitors, which are vital components in mobile phones, laptops, and other electronics. Juxtaposing an animated fly-by of the Congo River with footage of workers sifting through dark earth and robots processing the procured material in a pristine, brightly lit laboratory, the film’s disjunctions allegorise the very real economic, social and physical distance this material traverses as it moves from the third to the first world. Its final sequence, a time-lapse shot of a sun setting behind smokestacks, brings everything full circle, rendering visual a scene described at the outset of Joseph Conrad’s celebrated novel, Heart of Darkness.


Nicholas Serota

Exhibiting artists

Steve McQueen

Taking part

CAST (Cornubian Arts & Science Trust)

CAST (Cornubian Arts & Science Trust)


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