Isaac Julien: Lessons of the Hour - Frederick Douglass
Lessons of the Hour – Frederick Douglass
A visual and literary meditation that juxtaposes Isaac Julien’s artworks with archival images of Frederick Douglass and essays that consider his enduring legacy.
This sumptuously illustrated artist’s book and reader documents Lessons of the Hour (2019), the ten-screen film installation, and a series of related photographic artworks by the internationally acclaimed artist Isaac Julien, that honor the public and private life of one the most visionary figures in U.S. history: Frederick Douglass. The visionary African American orator, philosopher, intellectual, and self-liberated freedom-fighter was born into slavery in Maryland and went on to develop a remarkable aesthetic theory through his thinking and writing on abolitionism and Black self-representation by using the apparatus of photography. Isaac Julien's, Lessons of the Hour — Frederick Douglass takes the reader on the journey through Douglass; life and thinking, and is a vital consideration of his political and aesthetic legacy.
From December 17, 2021 to July 10, 2022, SCMA is showing the U.S. premiere of the single-screen version of Lessons of the Hour, which SCMA acquired for its permanent collection in 2021.
About the book:
Published by Isaac Julien Studio/ Memorial Art Gallery of the University of Rochester/Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College/DelMonico Books D.A.P.
Edited by Isaac Julien and Cora Gilroy-Ware with Vladimir Seput. Introduction by Cora Gilroy-Ware. Preface by Kenneth B. Morris, Jr. Text by John G. Hanhardt, Jonathan P. Binstock, Isaac Julien, Celeste-Marie Bernier, Deborah Willis, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Paul Gilroy, Vron Ware, Susan Solt, Kass Banning and Warren Crichlow. Interview by Jennifer G. González.
Designed by Kimberly Varella (Content Object)
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About Isaac Julien:
Filmmaker and installation artist, Isaac Julien CBE RA, was born in 1960 in London, where he currently lives and works. His multi-screen film installations and photographs incorporate different artistic disciplines to create a poetic and unique visual language. His 1989 documentary-drama exploring author Langston Hughes and the Harlem Renaissance titled Looking for Langston garnered Julien a cult following while his 1991 debut feature Young Soul Rebels won the Semaine de la Critique prize at the Cannes Film Festival.
Having recently worked on conserving and restoring Looking for Langston images from his extensive archive, he exhibited photographic works at Victoria Miro Gallery, London (2017), Jessica Silverman Gallery, San Francisco (2016) and Ron Mandos Gallery, Amsterdam (2016) with a screening of the film in its original 16mm print at Tate Britain.
Julien’s solo exhibitions and presentations include Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (Zeitz MOCAA), Cape Town (2017); Platform-L Contemporary Art Centre, Seoul (2017); The Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto (2017); Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris (2016); MAC Niterói, Rio de Janeiro (2016); Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo (MUAC), Mexico City (2016); De Pont Museum, Netherlands (2015); Museum of Modern Art, New York (2013); Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago (2013); The Bass Museum, Miami (2010); Museum Brandhorst, Munich (2009); Museum of Modern Art, Dublin (2005); Centre Pompidou, Paris (2005) and Moderna Museet, Stockholm (2005). His latest work, Stones Against Diamonds, was shown in 2015 as part of the Rolls-Royce Art Programme at the Venice Biennale, at Art Basel and Art Basel Miami Beach.
Julien participated in the Venice Biennale at the inaugural Diaspora Pavilion at the 57th edition in 2017 with Western Union: Small Boats. Previously, he presented Kapital and directed Das Kapital Oratorio in the 56th edition of the Venice Biennale, curated by Okwui Enwezor, in 2015. His work has also been exhibited in the 7th Gwangju Biennial, South Korea (2008); Prospect 1, New Orleans (2008); Performa 07, New York (2007) and in documenta 11, Kassel (2002).
Julien’s work is held in collections that include: Tate, London; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Centre Pompidou, Paris; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington DC; the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York; Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris; the LUMA Foundation, Arles; the Kramlich Collection; the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art (Zeitz MOCAA), Cape Town. In 2016 the Towner Art Gallery Collection (Eastbourne, UK) acquired Ten Thousand Waves (2010) as part of a Moving Image Fund program. Ten Thousand Waves, a globally acclaimed multiple screen installation work, premiered at the 2010 Sydney Biennale and has gone on to be exhibited extensively - recently at Platform-L in Seoul (2017) and Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris (2016) as well as the Museum of Modern Art, New York in 2013, with whom he also published a comprehensive monographic survey of his life and work, titled ‘Riot’.
Julien has taught extensively, holding posts such as Chair of Global Art at University of Arts London (2014-2016) and Professor of Media Art at Staatliche Hoscschule fur Gestaltung, Karlsruhe, Germany (2008 – 2016). He is the recipient of the James Robert Brudner ‘83 Memorial Prize and Lectures at Yale University (2016). Most recently he received the Charles Wollaston Award (2017) for most distinguished work at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition and in 2018, he was made a Royal Academician. Julien was awarded the title Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the Queen’s birthday honours, 2017.