isaac julien

hotel (ten thousand waves), 2010

endura ultra photograph 

180 x 240 cm

Press Release

Cocurator of Documenta11, Mark Nash is responsible for selecting the works that make up this exhibition. The selection presented in Isaac Julien: Scopic Landscapes offers a new refreshed contact with Isaac Julien’s production, which is also currently the theme of an exhibition at Sesc Pompeia: Isaac Julien: Geopoéticas, which covers three decades of the artist’s career. In the curatorship presented by Nara Roesler Gallery, photographs create a peculiar relationship with installation works – True North (2004), Fantôme Créole (2005) and Ten Thousand Waves (2010). 

In the photographs, the rigor with which the artist creates takes may be observed from another angle: the eloquence of space, which is a core aspect in the language developed by Julien, is even more intense in this exhibition. As observed by the curator, Julien works with “constructed, mythical images” to raise questions such as “how to think the experience of individuals and the artistic practice as being at the same time related to a place and integrated to a global network? How to think the agonizing worlds that are presented to us – the clash of ideologies and perspectives?”.

His strong social-political tone, which is evident in his narrative constructions, is presented with more subtlety in this exhibition. The visual delight of each image gradually shows his critical spirit both through the contrast among several images that create an analytical journey on (social and geographic) relations and in the careful composition of each frame, in which the mythical tone discretely raises political and aesthetical questioning. In a way, this exhibition takes the narrative fragmentation experience often proposed by the artist to another level. 

about the curator 
Mark Nash is a curator and cinema critic. He is currently professor and head of the Department of Curating Contemporary Art at the Royal College of Art, London. Cocurator of Documenta11 (2002), his most recent exhibition, One Sixth of the Earth, at MUSAC (Spain), focuses on contemporary works involving moving image in the former Soviet Union. In the 1970s and 1980s, he became actively involved in the British film scene as editor of Screen magazine (1976-81) and as an independent filmmaker. His essays from that period are in the book Screen Theory Culture (London: Palgrave MacMillan, 2008).

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