amsterdam

Steve McQueen, Blues Before Sunrise, 2012, 275 Lee #075 light filters. Installation view.

Steve McQueen

Vondelpark

Steve McQueen, Blues Before Sunrise, 2012, 275 Lee #075 light filters. Installation view.

For his project Blues Before Sunrise, organized by the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam this past March, British artist and filmmaker Steve McQueen fitted all 275 lights in the Vondelpark with blue filters (Lee #075, Evening Blue). Suddenly Amsterdam’s equivalent of Central Park was bathed in intense midnight blue each evening and night. Dog owners lost track of their four-footed companions, evening joggers faded to dim phantoms, and the cyclists who, in a proud Amsterdam tradition, refuse to use lights of their own whooshed past each other in the azure glow like birds over a darkened sea. Many visitors must have felt they had unexpectedly (and perhaps inconveniently) walked onto the set of a movie, but without knowing what part to play or what the other actors were likely to do.

It may seem strange that McQueen, known for films and film installations, suddenly produced a large

Sign-in to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the Summer 2012 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.