Isaac Julien: What Freedom Is To Me (Paperback)

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Isaac Julien: What Freedom Is To Me (Paperback)

Isaac Julien: What Freedom Is To Me (Paperback)

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Now, nearly thirty-five years after its making, the film remains as fresh, daring and uncompromising as ever.

The exhibition is being developed in cooperation with Tate Britain, London, where it will be on view from April 27 to August 20, 2023.This exhibition has been designed in partnership with architect David Adjaye, and together, Julien explains, they sought to create “an invitation to become enveloped by the images”.

The exhibition will present works from early films to large-scale, multi-screen installations which investigate the movement of peoples across different continents, times and spaces. But it was this sense of giving over oneself and one’s most valuable asset—one’s time—that was embodied in the exhibition design. These works, created with the Sankofa Film and Video Collective, present the roots and fundamental toolkit of Julien’s approach to filmmaking and social justice. conceived as a response to the unrest following the death of the 21-year-old Black Londoner who died from a gunshot wound inside the entrance of Stoke Newington police station that year.

Julien decided to make the five-screen installation after holidaying in Italy regularly with his mother, and gradually feeling less welcomed by the locals. Looking for Langston was shown at the Barbican in 2020, and it was startling when Todd Terry’s 1988 acid house classic Can You Party? In his Turner Prize work from 2000, Vagabondia, a Black female conservator moves in a dream through the Sir John Soane’s Museum after dark like a thread through the eye of a needle. While earlier films focus on serving the visuals, the work gathers power as we near the present day. In the mid-1980s, Julien was mentored by the “very generous” Derek Jarman, whose films, such as Edward II and Caravaggio, inspired the visual language Julien would develop in Looking for Langston.

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