Centre Pompidou, Paris

F-75004 Paris

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artists & participants

press release

From 25 May through 15 August, 2005 Isaac Julien presents his recent works including Creol Phantom (2005) made especially for this exhibition. Isaac Julien was born in London in 1960 and studied at St Martin’s School of Art. He became highly regarded at the end of the 1980s for his documentary and feature films. Isaac Julien currently orients his work towards audio-visual installations and photography. He is one of the most promising artists of his generation.

“Interbreeding,” or what Edouard Glissant calls “creolisation,” is at the heart of Isaac Julien’s investigation. The artist’s formal penetration amounts to a massive critique of our Wester-oritned view of the world, played out across an audio-visual installation. The result creates uneasy and complex questions for the viewer. Isaac Julien essentially renegotiates black identity within our world culture. His installations dissect our culture’s various metaphors for voyage, for example, from Africa to the North Pole, as well as the entrenched and stifling symbolism of established cultural places (museums and libraries), and the other modes of expression (cinema, dance, performance).

At a time when the visual arts, through countless numbers of exhibitions, conferences and productions, focus on post-colonial theories, Isaac Julien brings together these critical reflections and repositions them in a field that is very much his own. Conceived as “intertextual” journeys, the two audio-visual installations presented – “Fantôme Créole,” 2005 (created specifically for this exhibition) and “Baltimore,” 2003, (acquired by the Centre Pompidou, Musée National d’Art Moderne) – portray rich and sometimes uncomfortable narrative journeys.

Photographs produced during the shooting of “Baltimore” and “Fantôme Créole” accompany the exhibition, showing the relationships between the architecture, the landscape and the film crew, illuminating thus the production process.


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Isaac Julien
Kurator: Christine Van Assche
Ort: Espace 315