It's PLAYTIME for Isaac Julien




Isaac Julien, EMERALD CITY / CAPITAL (Playtime), 2013. Endura Ultra photograph, 160 x 240 cm. Image courtesy Victoria Miro, London, and Metro Pictures, New York. © Isaac Julien.

Isaac Julien's PLAYTIME,  recently opened at Victoria Miro gallery in London (24 January - 1 March 2014).
The exhibition is on show in Mayfair and Wharf Road and includes the world premiere of a seven-screen installation, the two-screen documentary, KAPITAL and a series of photographic works.
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Isaac Julien, PLAYTIME, 2014. Seven-screen ultra high-definition video installation with 7.1 surround sound, 69:47 minutes. Image courtesy of Victoria Miro, London. © Isaac Julien.
The artist research is addressing more and more to the effects of capital on people's life.
PLAYTIME offers an insight of people dealing with the financial crisis, considering in particular the art world.
As the gallery press release states: "Playtime is set across three cities defined by their role in relation to capital: London, a city transformed by the deregulation of the banks; Reykjavik, where the 2008 global financial crisis began; and Dubai, one of the Middle East's burgeoning financial markets. Part documentary and part fiction, the work follows six main protagonists - the Artist, the Hedge Fund Manager, the Auctioneer, the House Worker, the Art Dealer, and the Reporter  - interconnecting figures in the world of art and finance with the real stories of individuals deeply affected by the crisis and the global flow of capital.”

Isaac Julien, PLAYTIME, 2014. Seven-screen ultra high-definition video installation with 7.1 surround sound, 69:47 minutes. Image courtesy of Victoria Miro, London. © Isaac Julien.
The six main characters are starring some well-known people from Maggie Cheung to James Franco to Simon de Pury playing himself.
- the Artist (Ingvar Eggert Sigurðsson)
- the Hedge Fund Manager (Colin Salmon)
- the Auctioneer (Simon de Pury)
- the House Worker (Mercedes Cabral)
- the Art Dealer (James Franco)
- the Reporter (Maggie Cheung)

Isaac Julien, PLAYTIME, 2014. Seven-screen ultra high-definition video installation with 7.1 surround sound, 69:47 minutes. Image courtesy of Victoria Miro, London. © Isaac Julien.

Isaac Julien, PLAYTIME, 2014. Seven-screen ultra high-definition video installation with 7.1 surround sound, 69:47 minutes. Image courtesy of Victoria Miro, London. © Isaac Julien.
KAPITAL, a two-screen documentary is showing a conversation between Julien and David Harvey (a Marxist academic). The conversation was shot at the Hayward Gallery two years ago.
Julien tries to understand why capital is so difficult to delineate. Harvey replies: "In the same way you can only really intuit gravity exists by its effects, you can really only intuit that capital exists by its effects".

Isaac Julien, KAPITAL, 2013. Double-monitor high-definition video installation with stereo sound, 31:16 minutes. Image courtesy Victoria Miro, London. © Isaac Julien.
Besides, Victoria Miro in Mayfair offers to the visitors a series of photographic work taken from Playtime.
These are beautiful images that are capturing an absolute sublime moment of the film. 
Isaac Julien, HORIZON / ELSEWHERE (Playtime), 2013. Endura Ultra photograph, 160 x 240 cm. Image courtesy Victoria Miro, London, and Metro Pictures, New York. © Isaac Julien.

Isaac Julien PLAYTIME, 2014 (teaser) from Victoria Miro on Vimeo.

© Isaac Julien. Courtesy the Artist, Victoria Miro, London and Metro Pictures, New York. 

Artist biography:
Filmmaker and installation artist Isaac Julien was born in 1960 in London, where he currently lives and works.
His multi-screen film installations and photographs incorporate different artistic disciplines to create a poetic and unique visual language. His 1989 documentary-drama exploring author Langston Hughes and the Harlem Renaissance titled Looking for Langston garnered Julien a cult following while his 1991 debut feature Young Soul Rebels won the Semaine de la Critique prize at the Cannes Film Festival.
Julien’s 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; and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington DC.
His most recent film Ten Thousand Waves premiered at the 2010 Sydney Biennale and has gone on to be exhibited at venues throughout the world.
Julien has participated in the Venice Biennale (2009); the 7th Gwangju Biennial, South Korea (2008); Prospect 1, New Orleans (2008); and Performa 07, New York. He has had one-person exhibitions at: the Institute of Contemporary Arts, Boston (2011); L’Atelier Hermès, Seoul (2011); Kunstnernes Hus. Oslo (2011); The Bass Museum, Miami (2010); Helsinki Festival, Kunsthalle Helsinki (2010); Museum Brandhorst, Munich (2008); Kestnergesellschart, Hannover, (2006) Museum of Modern Art, Dublin (2005); Centre Pompidou, Paris (2005); and Moderna Museet, Stockholm (2005).

Isaac Julien PLAYTIME
24 January - 1 March 2014
Victoria Miro, 16 Wharf Road, N1 7RW
Accompanying photographic works:
Victoria Miro Mayfair, 14 St George Street, W1S 1FE
Victoria Miro Galleries

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