Beat Streuli

Tate Britain

The heroism of modern life is very much apparent in Beat Streuli’s Oxford Street, 1997, a photographic installation commissioned for the Tate Gallery’s project space. This street, which the Swiss-born, Düsseldorf-based artist visited at the beginning of the year, is one of London’s busiest shopping districts, but you would hardly guess this from the images. Streuli’s shoppers appear to be engaged in silent and solitary vigils, rather than orgies of consumerism.

The images are projected onto the walls of the Tate’s longest gallery from three slide projectors. Oxford Street incorporates frequent fades and overlaps, and a series of shots taken in mere seconds might unfold much more slowly. Streuli used a telephoto lens to isolate the heads and shoulders of his subjects, causing the backgrounds in the pictures to blur, and the sun was shining brightly when the photos were taken, creating a

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