The trouble with video art in the age of Covid-19

Steve McQueen’s acclaimed survey at Tate Modern is the latest exhibition to fall victim to social distancing rules
The Tate announced earlier this month that it would reopen its galleries on 27 July, after more than four months’ closure. But while most of its shows have been extended or postponed to a later date, Tate Modern’s survey of the British film-maker Steve McQueen’s work will not reopen with the collection displays and the exhibitions by Andy Warhol and Kara Walker on Monday. Social distancing rules have cut short McQueen’s show, so instead of running for three months as originally intended, it was open for just five weeks.
McQueen declined to comment but Thomas Dane, who represents him, says he and everyone connected to the project are “hugely disappointed”. He adds: “Steve had waited a long time for this show; this was his homecoming, in a sense.” Achim Borchardt-Hume, Tate Modern’s director of exhibitions and programmes, says that the gallery was “very hopeful that we could reopen the exhibition” as the lockdown began. But “it was only as the social distancing guidelines became more and more detailed” that doubts began. “As we were working through every detail, it was becoming impossible to conform to the social-distancing guidelines within spaces with limited visibility.”
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by Ben Luke


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