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Isaac Julien

Distinguished Professor

Filmmaker and installation artist, Isaac Julien CBE RA, was born in 1960 in London.
Julien came to prominence with his 1989 documentary-drama exploring author
Langston Hughes and the Harlem Renaissance titled Looking for Langston which
garnered him a cult following while his 1991 debut feature Young Soul Rebels won the
Semaine de la Critique prize at the Cannes Film Festival. 
Two new works, Lina Bo Bardi—A Marvellous Entanglement and Lessons of the
Hour—Frederick Douglass premiered in 2019. Previously, Julien participated in the
Venice Biennale at the inaugural Diaspora Pavilion at the 57 th edition in 2017 with
Western Union: Small Boats. 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 documenta 11, Kassel (2002).
Julien’s solo exhibitions and presentations include Los Angeles County Museum of Art
(LACMA), Los Angeles (2019); 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); Centre Pompidou, Paris (2005) and
Moderna Museet, Stockholm (2005). His 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.
His 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. 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 is Distinguished Professor of the Arts at the University of California Santa Cruz,
where he and Professor Mark Nash established the Isaac Julien Lab.