Isaac Julien talks to Ben Luke about his influences, from art to literature, music and film, and the cultural experiences that have shaped his life and work.
Julien's films and video installations are often swooningly beautiful, and always deeply engaged in diverse cultural histories, reflecting on, among other things, diaspora and Blackness, queer identity and the movement of people. His work actively involves other art forms, and is often produced from collaborations with choreographers and actors. He responds repeatedly to the art, literature and cinema of the past, but is also pushing video installation into new territory, using multiple screens—sometimes as many as ten—to create fractured narratives which envelop the viewer, encouraging distinctive readings of the complex stories he tells, and constantly expanding the frames through which we see his subject matter.
He discusses the epiphany of seeing Max Beckmann at the Whitechapel Gallery, his admiration for Peter Doig, Stan Douglas and Glenn Ligon, the influence of poets including Aimé Césaire and Derek Walcott, the architect Lina Bo Bardi, the cultural scene in London when he began his film-making journey in the 1980s, and discovering, in his archive, his student photographs of early 1980s protests against police brutality—images that he had forgotten he had even taken. Plus, he answers our familiar questions, including the ultimate one: what is art for? This episode is sponsored by Bloomberg Connects.
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12/08/21 • 52 min
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