Isaac Julien: Playtime
Los Angeles Filmforum in cooperation with LACMA and the University of California, Santa Cruz, present
Isaac Julien: Playtime
Screenings and symposium
Saturday, May 18, 2019, 9:00 am – 6 pm
At LACMA Bing Theater, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles 90036
Isaac Julien in person!
On the occasion of the exhibition, Isaac Julien: Playtime, and in collaboration with the University of California, Santa Cruz, and Los Angeles Filmforum, LACMA hosts screenings, talks, and panel discussions with historians, scholars, and artists responding to five additional important films by Julien: Looking for Langston (1989), KAPITAL (2013), Western Union: small boats (2007), Ten Thousand Waves (2010), Lessons of the Hour (2019).
Over the last 30 years, Isaac Julien CBE RA (United Kingdom, b. 1960) has gained acclaim for his cinematic interrogations on the politics of blackness, queerness, gender roles, and the remnants of how colonial pasts inform contemporary society. A founding member of the 1980s experimental film collective Sankofa, Julien politicizes the sumptuous aesthetic of Hollywood films by utilizing the concept of an “aesthetic of reparation.” Rather than represent the plights of marginalized communities in a traditionally naturalistic or ethnographic style, he uses the tools of Hollywood, the art market, and the “politics of the image” to elevate the representation of groups from multiple diverse perspectives and backgrounds. Isaac Julien's Playtime will be at LACMA from May 5th to August 11th.
The symposium will explore Julien’s work and ways to understand his practice in the contexts of contemporary art, cinema, and theory. Speakers include:
- 2019 Pulitzer Prize winner Jeffrey Stewart
- Artist Charles Gaines
- Scholar and critic B. Ruby Rich
- Cuurator Mark Nash
- LACMA's VP of Education Naima J. Keith
- Writer Sarah Thornton
Isaac Julien CBE RA (United Kingdom, b. 1960) is an artist and filmmaker whose multi-channel film installations and photographs feature fractured narratives reflecting his explorations into race, class, sexuality, postcolonialism, and representation. Co-founder of Sankofa Film and Video Collective in 1983 and Normal Films in 1991, Julien has won numerous awards and honors and has had over 60 solo exhibitions worldwide.
Tickets are FREE
Please rsvp at https://www.lacma.org/event/symposium-isaac-julien-playtime
Lunch and parking are provided.
Isaac Julien's Playtime will be installed in the Resnick Pavilion from May 5th to August 11th.
For more information: firstname.lastname@example.org, https://www.lacma.org/event/symposium-isaac-julien-playtime , www.lafilmforum.org or 323-377-7238
9:00 am - coffee and pastries, welcome by Christine Y. Kim, LACMA's Associate Curator of Contemporary Art
9:30 am - Playtime (2014)
Playtime (on view in the Resnick Pavilion, LACMA) is a captivating critique of the influence of capital on the global art world delivered through the narratives of six characters whose lives have been impacted in divergent ways. Discussion following with Sarah Thornton
9:50 am - Kapital (2013) (excerpt)
Kapital, a two-screen work centering on a conversation between Julien and renowned Marxist geographer David Harvey, was featured in the 2015 Venice Biennale, curated by the late Okwui Enwezor. Discussion following with Charles Gaines (CalArts) and Mark Nash (UC Santa Cruz)
10:50 am - Western Union: Small Boats (The Leopard) (2007)
Western Union: Small Boats poetically addresses immigration policies and the relations between the individual and the geopolitical, focusing on the histories of African migration and cycles of displacement between Africa and Europe. Discussion following with Jennifer A. González (UC Santa Cruz) and Shelleen Greene (UCLA) with Christine Y. Kim
12 pm - Ten Thousand Waves (2010) (excerpt)
A multi-screen installation shot in China, Ten Thousand Waves explores the movement of people across countries and continents, weaving together stories that link China's present with its ancient past. Discussion following with Jeffrey Stewart (UC Santa Barbara) and Ariel Osterweis (CalArts) with Christine Y. Kim
2 pm - Looking for Langston (1989)
A celebration of its thirtieth anniversary, the award-winning film Looking for Langston focuses on poet, social activist, novelist, playwright, and columnist Langston Hughes (1902–1967) and his fellow black artists and writers of the Harlem Renaissance during the 1920s. Discussion following with B. Ruby Rich (UC Santa Cruz) and Isaac Julien
3:35 pm - Lessons of the Hour—Frederick Douglass (2019)
Lessons of the Hour presents a reconstruction of Frederick Douglass’s life, restaging some of the abolitionist’s most important speeches and giving expression to the zeitgeist of Douglass's era and legacy. Discussion following with Isaac Julien and Jeffrey Stewart with Naima J. Keith (LACMA)
Los Angeles Filmforum is the city’s longest-running organization dedicated to weekly screenings of experimental film, documentaries, video art, and experimental animation. 2019 is our 44th year.
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31 minutes 8 seconds .
Kapital is a work centering around a conversation between Julien and renowned Marxist Geographer David Harvey (author of the book The Enigma of Capital). Staged as part of a seminar titled Choreographing Capital organized by the artist at the Hayward Gallery in 2012, the event saw notable interventions from theorists, critics and curators such as the late Stuart Hall, Paul Gilroy, Irit Rogoff and Colin MacCabe. Julien has always made work in collaboration, conversation and exchange but this is the first time he has opened up the complex and rigorous research processes that lie behind his working methods. The work was featured in the 2015 Venice Biennale, curated by the late Okwui Enwezor.
KAPITAL, Left: Stuart Hall, Catherine Hall Right: David Harvey
2013 Installation view, Victoria Miro, Wharf Road, London, 2014; Double-monitor high definition video installation with stereo sound 31'16"
Courtesy the artist and Victoria Miro, London; Photograph: Stephen White
Western Union: small boats (The Leopard), 2007
Western Union Series No. 8, 2007, 18 minutes
Western Union: small boats is a highly relevant and poetic address of immigration policies and the relations between the individual and the geopolitical. The Leopard is an edited cinema version of the work which seeks to re-engage with these ongoing issues, humanizing and lending poetic qualities, image and voice once again to questions which so often get lost amidst the noise of political agendas.
duratrans in lightbox, 47.24 x 115.35 inches, 120 x 293 cm
Ten Thousand Waves, 2010
35mm film, transferred to High Definition, 9.2 surround sound, 49 minutes 41 seconds
Ten Thousand Waves is a multi-screen installation shot on location in China. The work explores the movement of people across countries and continents, weaving together stories linking China's present with its ancient past.
Looking for Langston, 1989
16 mm, b&w,, stereo sound, 44:29
Courtesy of the artist and Metro Pictures, New York
The 1989 film Looking for Langston is a landmark in the exploration of artistic expression, the nature of desire and the reciprocity of the gaze, and would become the hallmark of what B. Ruby Rich named New Queer Cinema.
J.P. Ball Salon 1867 (Lessons of The Hour), 2019
Lessons of The Hour, 2019, 27 minutes
Digital print on Gloss inkjet paper mounted on aluminum, 22 7/16 x 29 15/16 inches (image), 57 x 76 cm
Courtesy of the artist and Metro Pictures, New York
In Lessons of The Hour Julien gives expression to the zeitgeist of Douglass's era, his legacy, and ways in which his story may be viewed today.