The striking portrait of London by Steve McQueen

Le saisissant portrait de Londres de Steve McQueen

The artist and british film director Steve McQueen at the Tate Britain, at the opening of the exhibition “Year 3”, Monday.

November 11, 2019 22hr11

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The striking portrait of London by Steve McQueen

AFP

Agence France-Presse

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LONDON — With tens of thousands of smiles of children exposed to the Tate Britain, but also in the streets and the subway of the british capital, artist and filmmaker Steve McQueen paints a striking portrait of London and its future.

Accompanied by nine other photographers, the british film director Oscar-winning (Slave for 12 years) has immortalized more than 76 000 students in 1500 schools, including the one that he was a child. More than two-thirds of young Londoners between the ages of 7 or 8 years.

At Tate Britain, where the exhibition Year 3 opens Tuesday, the accumulation effect is impressive. More than 3000 shots revisiting the eternal picture of the class cover the high walls of the main gallery of the museum.

In parallel, more than 600 reproductions gigantic are also displayed until November 18, in the streets or the london underground.

“It is a portrait of London”, summarised the exhibition curator Clarrie Wallis during the presentation of the exhibition on Monday.

“For me, it is amazing to see those 76 000 smiles. It is a kind of portrait of the potential. This resonates very strongly with the rest of the work of Steve McQueen.”

In his installation Queen and country, 55 sheets of stamps commemorated as well, each british soldier killed in the war in Iraq. “The idea was to think about the loss of all that potential. Here, we are shown the potential of the next generation”, has analyzed the curator of the exhibition.

The idea of community

With Year 3 are juxtaposed in classes of six to twenty children, students in uniform or in town clothes, poses-classic — in a row of onions on benches — or more relaxed on the cushions, stressing the disparities between the classes and their teaching methods.

“The goal is to show Londoners what it’s like to be their city”, explained to AFP the co-director of Artangel James Lingwood, in charge of the exhibition outside.

Year 3 sweeps in a wide range, ranging from private schools to public schools, through free schools, schools for children with special needs and even children educated at home.

But beyond these disparities, the project seeks, on the contrary, according to the organizers, to embody the idea of community and create a “sense of belonging”.

“When you have approximately seven years, this is the moment where you realize that you belong to something bigger than your family or your group of friends, called the society”, said Mr. Lingwood.

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