Born in London in 1960, is a filmmaker and visual artist who has innovated the cinematic scene of recent decades, exploring the field of audiovisual installations since the late 1990s. Thanks to his meticulous attention to formal aspects and an extraordinary storytelling ability, he tackles delicate social issues, paving the way for an experimentalism that transcends the boundaries among the various artistic disciplines. In 1983, he founded the Sankofa Film and Video Collective, an independent production company, which produced works that explored the themes of black identity and the black diaspora in relation to global culture. In one of his first masterpieces, Looking for Langston (1989), he tackled the issue of discrimination and the representation of male homosexual desire. In 1991, he won the Semaine de la Critique Prize in Cannes for Young Soul Rebels. In 1996, he premiered Frantz Fanon: Black Skin, White Mask, a film portrait of the famous French psychiatrist, and with The Attendant (1993) he entered the world of art. In those years, he met Glenn Scott Wright, curator at Victoria Miro Gallery, which hosted his first solo exhibition in 1999. In 2000, Julien began translating his cinematographic research into immersive multi-screen installations enhancing the synchronisation or shifting of frames based on skilful spatial control without privilege point of view. In 2001, he was nominated for the Turner Prize for Vagabondia (2000), a work that is part of a trilogy on the theme of the museum. In Baltimore (2003), on the other hand, he reflects on the ability of exhibition spaces to represent the blend of cultures resulting from colonisation. The comparison between cultures is explored again in the series True North (2004), Fantôme Afrique (2005), Fantôme Créole (2005), which predates the installations Western Union: small boats (2007), Ten Thousand Waves (2010) and Playtime (2014). In the former series, Julien proposes poetic representations and acute analysis of the consequences of migration flows. In the latter, he explores the dynamics emerging from the Capital and the way they affect individuals in their personal lives, around the world. In 2019, Julien released Lessons of the Hour: Frederick Douglass, an in-depth examination of the visionary figure of the African American abolitionist politician and writer, in relation to the cultural landscape of his time. The artist’s works are featured in the world’s most important collections and major international museums have dedicated solo exhibitions to him. He was invited to the Venice Biennale in 2015 and 2017 (Diaspora Pavilion), and in 2002 he took part in documenta 11 in Kassel. Isaac Julien was honoured in 2017 with the “Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for services to the Arts” and in 2018 he was appointed Academician of the Royal Academy of Art.
photo © Thierry Bal
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on the occasion of the exhibition Lina Bo Bardi. Un meraviglioso groviglio
The artist talks about the genesis and the evolution of his exhibition A Marvellous Entanglement and its position within his artistic path.
Exciting tribute to the great Italian-Brazilian architect Lina Bo Bardi, the exhibition consists of an impressive nine-channel video installation, accompanied by a photographic series, shot in various locations in Brazil, including the Sao Paulo Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art of Bahia and the Gregario de Matos Theater of Salvador.
The project reflects an operating mode that Isaac Julien has been implementing since 2000, translating his cinematographic research into immersive multiscreen installations that enhance the synchronization or offset of the frames and are based on skilful spatial control without a privileged point of view.
an event within
Isaac JulienLina Bo Bardi — Un meraviglioso groviglio
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