press release

The Derek Jarman exhibition will present a selection of work by the leading British film-maker of his generation. Curated by the celebrated artist and filmmaker Isaac Julien, it will highlight Jarman’s work in film and painting, including his pioneering presentation of the moving image within the gallery context. Jarman was arguably the single most crucial figure of British independent cinema in the 1970s, 80s and 90s. He struggled for Gay Liberation and with the impact of AIDS and lived as a participant observer, recording all that passed before him, from punk to Thatcher, Hampstead Heath to film premiere.

This exhibition is a timely reappraisal of Jarman’s work, conceived as an immersive environment by Julien, featuring rarely seen films from the Derek Jarman Super-8 archive, an installation of his film Blue, 1993, as well as a selection of his paintings. Julien has also created a series of photographic lightboxes documenting Jarman’s cottage and garden in Dungeness.

The exhibition will mark the premiere of Julien’s new film about Jarman, Derek, the centre of which is a day-long interview Jarman recorded in 1990. The film includes a narration by Tilda Swinton and clips of Jarman’s films, juxtaposed with news and footage of the current affairs from the times that this life illuminated. It is a film of Jarman’s life as well as the story of England from the 1960s to the 1980s.

Derek is supported by Channel 4, Film London and the Sundance Film Fund. The film will premier on More4 and in the Serpentine Gallery exhibition, as part of a season of events celebrating Jarman’s work. This will also include screenings of Jarman’s films on More4 and at Picturehouse cinemas throughout London and the launch of the Jarman Award for artist film-makers, presented by Film London and More4, in partnership with the Serpentine Gallery.

Download Gaydar Nation podcast: Isaac Julien talks to Joanne Oatts on a tour of the exhibition

This Spring will also see Jarman's super-8 films displayed as part of the Tate’s Lightbox series from 5 April – 1 June at Tate Britain.

Derek Jarman
Kurator: Isaac Julien

30.08.08 - 02.11.08 Kunsthalle Zürich
28.06.08 - 05.10.08 Kunsthalle Wien
23.02.08 - 13.04.08 Serpentine Gallery, London