The artist and filmmaker Steve McQueen (b. 1969, London, UK) has created an artwork in response to the fire that took place on 14 June 2017 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.
Steve McQueen was born in West London in 1969 and studied Fine Art at Goldsmiths College where he first became interested in film. Over the last 30 years, Steve McQueen has been influential in expanding the way in which artists work with film. He has made several feature films with many accolades, including the Academy Award for Best Film for 12 Years a Slave (2013). In 2020, he made Small Axe, an anthology film series about London’s West Indian community. As an artist, McQueen won the Turner Prize in 1999 and represented Great Britain at the Venice Biennale in 2009. McQueen’s work is held and exhibited in public museums around the world. He lives and works in London and Amsterdam.
Image: Steve McQueen, Grenfell, 2019 (still), courtesy the artist – The film still has been issued to be as sensitive to the bereaved families, survivors and the community as possible in the media coverage of the exhibition. Please use this still to accompany articles on Steve McQueen’s work Grenfell. Please refrain from using other stock images of the Tower, especially those on the night of the disaster and of the uncovered tower to be respectful to the Grenfell community as these images can be distressing.
Serpentine presents Grenfell by Steve McQueen at Serpentine South from Friday 7 April – Wednesday 10 May