The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) will be presenting works by renowned contemporary installation artist and filmmaker Isaac Julien. Isaac Julien: Other Destinieswill be on view from Saturday, January 21 until April 23, 2017. The exhibition consists of two immersive film projections, WESTERN UNION: Small Boats (2007) and True North (2004), both addressing issues of globalization, movements of peoples, displacement, and the aesthetics of geography. The ROM’s installation of Isaac’s work is one of a three-part execution across Toronto, with programs at OCAD University and the Images Festival.
“Isaac Julien is a one of the most exciting and innovative intellectual thinkers working in the arts today. Through his work, he addresses difficult and sensitive issues in a poetic and visually engaging manner,” said Silvia Forni, ROM Curator of African Arts and Culture. “We are thrilled to share his work with ROM visitors, and together with OCAD University and the Images Festival, give Toronto audiences an opportunity to fully explore his practice.”
Organized by former Managing Director of ROM Contemporary Culture, Ann Webb, and Dr. Silvia Forni, Isaac Julien: Other Destinies features two installations:
WESTERN UNION: Small Boats (2007) is an immersive, multi-screen experience through which Isaac explores multiple themes including notions of diaspora and transnational identities. Part of Julien’s Expeditions trilogy, this powerful and visually engaging installation addresses the plight of people seeking a better life and the complex issues around migration.
True North (2004) contains reflective images of the sublime, using the landscape as a key location and theme, offering a fascinating, new visual reading of space and time and its relation to counter histories. It is inspired by the story of Matthew A. Henson, African American explorer and one of the first people to reach the North Pole accompanying Robert E. Peary.
The ROM will also present a series of programs to complement the exhibition, including a keynote lecture titled Isaac Julien in His Own Words on January 24, 2017. The artist will discuss the inspiration behind the work in Isaac Julien: Other Destinies and more recent developments of his oeuvre. His presentation will be followed by a conversation with Professor Michael Prokopow of OCAD University.