Tag Archives: Isaac Julien


One of the things that some of us said over and over again is that we’re doing this work. Don’t expect to receive public credit for it. It’s not to be acknowledged that we do this work. We do this work because we want to change the world. If we don’t do the work continuously and passionately, even as it appears as if no one is listening, if we don’t help to create the conditions of possibility for change, then a moment like this will arrive and we can do nothing about it. As Bobby Seale said, we will not be able to “seize the time.” This is a perfect example of our being able to seize this moment and turn it into something that’s radical and transformative.Angela Davis

Join Angela Davis and Isaac Julien for an online discussion about the influence of Frederick Douglass on contemporary movements for racial justice.

The talk will be moderated by Sarah Lewis—associate professor of history of art and architecture and African and African American studies at Harvard University—and coincides with Julien’s exhibition Lessons of the Hour at the McEvoy Foundation for the Arts in San Francisco.

See link below to register for the Zoom event.


Wednesday, November 11.

6 pm on the West Coast; 9 pm East Coast.

Top: Angela Davis: Seize the Time, edited by Gerry Beegan and Donna Gustafson (Munich: Hirmer, 2020), cover image courtesy and © the publisher.

Above: Isaac JulienLessons of the Hour—Frederick Douglass (2019), McEvoy Foundation for the Arts, October 14, 2020–March 13, 2021, ten-screen installation, 35mm film and 4k digital, color, 7.1 surround sound, installation view photographs (2) by Henrik Kam, images courtesy the McEvoy Foundation for the Arts. The North Star (Lessons of the Hour), 2019, framed photograph on Gloss inkjet paper mounted on aluminum; Helen Pitts Class of 1859 (Lessons of the Hour), 2019, digital print on Gloss inkjet paper mounted on aluminum. Artwork images © Isaac Julien, courtesy of the artist, Jessica Silverman Gallery, San Francisco, Metro Pictures, New York, and Victoria Miro, London and Venice.

Below: Commemorative posters (2 of 3) with Douglass’ messages of action and equality celebrate a continuing history of protest movements for racial and social justice. The text is drawn from the abolitionist’s public and private writings, some of which are excerpted in Julien’s Lessons of the Hour—Frederick Douglass (2019). Design and © MacFadden & Thorpe, images courtesy of the designers and McEvoy Foundation for the Arts.


London, 1977. A year of nascent punk rock explosion and the rebirth of soul. Pirate DJs and the Queen’s Jubilee. Love on the run and racist skinheads on the prowl. YOUNG SOUL REBELS—an early feature by Isaac Julien—is part-thriller, part-musical, and a groundbreaking exemplar of the New Queer Cinema movement of the 1990s.

Starring Mo Sesay, Valentine Nonyela, Jason Durr, and Sophie Okonedo, the film screens this week in Westwood as part of the Outfest UCLA Legacy Project Screening Series.


Friday, August 16, at 7:30 pm.

Billy Wilder Theater, Hammer Museum

10899 Wilshire Boulevard., Los Angeles.

Isaac Julien, Young Soul Rebels (1991). Images courtesy and © the filmmaker.


ISAAC JULIEN: LINA BO BARDI—A MARVELLOUS ENGAGEMENT is the British artist and filmmaker’s nine-screen installation in tribute to the great Brazilian architect.

“Linear time is a western invention; time is not linear, it is a marvellous entanglement, where at any moment points can be chosen and solutions invented without beginning or end.” — Lina Bo Bardi*


Through July 27.

Victoria Miro

16 Wharf Road, Hoxton, London

ISAAC JULIEN in conversation with MARIA BALSHAW

Friday, July 5, at 6:30 pm.

Tate Britain

Millbank, London.

Isaac Julien—Lina Bo Bardi: A Marvellous Engagement, Victoria Miro, 2019, installation views. Images courtesy and © the artist and Victoria Miro. Isaac Julien limited edition cover courtesy and © the artist and Wallpaper.


At LACMA this weekend, join Charles Gaines, writers and scholars Jennifer González, Shelleen Greene, Ariel Osterweis, B. Ruby Rich, Jeffrey Stewart, and Sarah Thornton, curator Mark Nash, and LACMA‘s Naima J. Keith and Christine Y. Kim for a daylong symposium of screenings and panel discussions celebrating the work of Isaac Julien—who will be in attendance.

Among the complete works to be presented are PLAYTIME, LESSONS OF THE HOUR—FREDERICK DOUGLASS, WESTERN UNION: SMALL BOATS, and a 30th anniversary screening of LOOKING FOR LANGSTON, Julien’s film about Harlem Renaissance poet Langston Hughes.

Excerpts from KAPITAL and TEN THOUSAND WAVES will also be shown.


Saturday, May 18, from 9 am to 5 pm.


Through August 11.


5905 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles.

Full schedule of screenings and speakers:

9:00 am — Coffee and pastries.

9:25 am — Welcome and introductions by Christine Y. Kim, Associate Curator of Contemporary Art, LACMA.

9:30 am — PLAYTIME (2014). Sarah Thornton.

9:50 am — KAPITAL (2013), excerpt. Charles Gaines and Mark Nash.

10:50 am — WESTERN UNION: SMALL BOATS (2007). Jennifer González and Shelleen Greene.

12:00 pm — TEN THOUSAND WAVES (2010) (excerpt). Jeffrey Stewart and Ariel Osterweis, with Christine Y. Kim.

1:10 pm to 1:55 pm — Lunch will be provided for participants.

2:00 pm — LOOKING FOR LANGSTON (1989). B. Ruby Rich and Isaac Julien

3:35 pm — LESSONS OF THE HOUR—FREDERICK DOUGLASS (2019). Isaac Julienand Jeffrey Stewart, with Naima J. Keith

Isaac Julien, from top: Emerald City / Capital (Playtime), 2013; Playtime, 2013, LACMA, installation view Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney, 2013 (2); The Abyss (Playtime), 2013; Playtime, 2013, LACMA, installation view Metro Pictures, 2013, photograph by Genevieve Hanson; All that’s solid melts into air (Playtime), 2013; Ten Thousand Waves, 2010, 35mm film, transferred to HD 9.2 surround sound; Icarus descending (Playtime), 2013; Isaac Julien, Eclipse (Playtime), 2013. Black and white photograph of Isaac Julien, 2017, by Thierry Bal. All works and images courtesy and © Isaac Julien, the photographers, Victoria Miro, London, and Metro Pictures, New York.


Isaac Julien’s LESSONS OF THE HOUR—FREDERICK DOUGLASS is a ten-screen film installation—shot in 35mm and 4K digital—exploring the life and work of the American orator and abolitionist.

The exhibition includes original tintype portraits, color photographs, found archival images, and an assemblage of black and white analog photographs related to Julien’s film Who Killed Colin Roach? (1983).

The film’s score was composed by Paul Gladstone Reid.



Through April 13.

Metro Pictures

519 West 24th Street, New York City.

Through May 12.

University of Rochester

Memorial Art Gallery

500 University Avenue, Rochester.

From top: Isaac JulienLessons of the Hour (still), 2019, courtesy the artist, Metro Pictures, New York, and Victoria Miro, London and Venice; Rob Ball, stills and tintype photographs for Lessons of the Hour by Isaac Julien (2).