SESC Pompeia - Sao Paulo
03/09/2012 - 16/12/2012

Videobrasil, in partnership with SESC, organizes Isaac Julien’s first solo show in South America.

Four multiple-screen installations, created throughout the last decade, comprise the central segment of British artist Isaac Julien’s first solo show in Brazil. Isaac Julien: Geopoetics is curated by Solange Farkas and will be held at SESC Pompeia starting in September, alongside parallel screenings of Julien’s films on SESCTV for the duration of the show.

The show spans two decades of Julien’s production and sets out to reveal to Brazilian audiences the dual character of his oeuvre: it highlights both his deep concern with cultural identity, social affirmation, gender issues, and politics, and his thorough attention to formal aspects, which entails a sharp and precise use of colors and shades, multifaceted narrative constructions, and superimpositions of visual and sound signs.

Nominated for the 2001 Turner Prize, Julien is a leading name in worldwide audiovisual art. Combining theoretical reflection and artistic experimentation, his video installations—or imagetic environments—question the boundaries of the notion of exhibitability within a broader spectrum of issues relating to postcolonialism theory.

The project for Isaac Julien: Geopoetics started taking shape on the occasion of the Pan-African Contemporary Art Exhibition, which Solange Farkas organized in 2005. At the time, the curator took interest in the possibility of opposing Julien’s work, with its tackling of cultural issues from non-hegemonic, cross-geographical perspectives, and the selection in that show. The oeuvre of Julien, however, holds such power that it deserved exclusive attention.

“This selection enables a more vigorous take on the nuances in Julien’s work. His formal transgressions, for instance, are as important as the issues of sexuality, politics, and social belonging that he takes on,” says the curator. Not by chance, the artist believes landscapes are a key element of his poetics, and as such they are represented in the selection.

The show’s title refers to the deep connection between artistic image and the way it positions itself in the world—a dichotomy which reflects the political and subjective aspects of art. “To my mind, the idea of being able to move in the world and to be able to depict it in some fashion would not be so unusual, because I think we’re living in a world where one wants to somehow question what are the tides of globalization by, in a way, posing the question that an artist might pose, trying to question the way that those images may come about in certain locations. So I’m very interested in looking at different locations in the geopolitics or the geocultural geography of the world and trying to explore it,” says Isaac Julien.