Drumroll (1998) is a kinesthetic wonder, an innovative portrait of New York City, and a dynamic metaphor for urban life. This immersive video installation by renowned artist Steve McQueen surrounds the viewer with sound, flashes of light, and discombobulated images. To create it, McQueen modified a barrel by cutting holes in either end and the center and mounted three video cameras inside it, each camera focused on an aperture. He then proceeded to roll the drum down several Manhattan streets. The resulting footage shows simultaneous, rotating views of the city: from close-ups of pavement to glimpses of sky above.
In 1999, McQueen won the prestigious Turner Prize for Drumroll. In contrast to his early silent, black-and-white films, Drumroll was a leap forward, a room-filling experiment in the impact of sound and multiple viewpoints to disorient and reorient. McQueen is the acclaimed director of feature length films Hunger (2008) and Twelve Years a Slave (2013), for which he won an Academy Award.
Drumroll is presented at the Portland Art Museum in conjunction with Open This End: Contemporary Art from the Collection of Blake Byrne, on view through December 11, 2016, at the Ronna and Eric Hoffman Gallery of Contemporary Art at Lewis & Clark College.
Support for this installation is provided by the Skylark Foundation.