isaac julien
stones against diamonds, 2015
installation view
elisabethenkirche, basel

Isaac Julien is one of Britain's most important and influential installation artists and filmmakers. Julien was born in London in 1960 and studied at St Martins' School of Art from 1980 to 1984. His work draws from and comments on a range of disciplines and practices (film, dance, photography, music, theater, painting, and sculpture) and unites them in dramatic audiovisual film installations, photographic works, and documentary films.


His 1991 film Young Soul Rebels won the Semaine de la Critique Prize at the Cannes Film Festival. His 1996 film Frantz Fanon: Black Skin, White Mask, made with curator Mark Nash, won the Pratt and Whitney Canada Grand Prize. Julien has also been the recipient of the McDermott Award from MIT and The Golden Gate Persistence of Vision Award (2014) from the San Francisco Film Festival. In 2015 Isaac Julien was the recipient for the Kaino Award for Artistic Excellence. Julien was nominated for the Turner Prize in 2001 for his works The Long Road to Mazatlán (1999), and Vagabondia (2000) and has received wide acclaim for works including Western Union (Small Boats) (2007), Fantôme Afrique (2005), True North (2004) and many others. In 2008 Julien collaborated with Tilda Swinton on a biopic, Derek, about Derek Jarman, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival the same year.


Julien's work has been included in Documenta 11 (2002), the 7th Gwangju Biennial (2008), and the Paris Triennial (2012). In addition, Julien has had various solo exhibitions at institutions such as the Art Institute of Chicago (2013), the MCA San Diego (2012), the Bass Museum, Miami (2010), and the Centre Pompidou (2005) among others. In the winter of 2013-2014 his 2010 installation Ten Thousand Waves was on view at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, projected onto nine double-sided screens in a dynamic arrangement specially conceived for The Donald B. and Catherine C. Marron Atrium.


Isaac Julien's most recent exhibition at the De Pont Museum was a survey show entitled Riot, which spanned thirty years of his career. For the 56th Venice Biennale, Isaac Julien has collaborated with curator Okwui Enwezor and is directing a series of performances, readings and screenings of Marx's Das Kapital, along with an installation of his homonymous work, KAPITAL (2013). Isaac Julien's latest installation piece, Stones Against Diamonds, will also be premiered during the Biennale in the Rolls Royce Art Programme.


Julien's work is included in the collections of institutions around the globe. In 2013, a monographic survey of his career to date, Riot, was published by MoMA, NY.