Isaac Julien

London UK 1960, lives and works in London

Midnight Sun
2013
Endura Ultra photograph
160 x 240 cm
2014.IsJ.03

This photograph came about as a part of Isaac Julien's PLAYTIME, a video work set across three cities defined by their relation to capital: Dubai, the new center for wealth in the world; London, a city transformed by the deregulation of banks and Reykjavik, where the 2008 financial crisis began. All the characters, such as the Artist, the Art Dealer or the Hedge Fund Manager explore their relationship with the global financial crisis and the role of contemporary art in it.

The characters are based on real individuals whom Julien interviewed and researched extensively,  including renowned actors James Franco, Maggie Cheung, Mercedes Cabral, Colin Salmon, Ingvar Eggert Sigurðsson and the well-known auctioneer Simon de Pury, as himself.

With his luxurious and seductive way of making his films Isaac Julien utilizes the contemporary cinematic vocabulary to the fullest extent and at the same time tries to lure the audience into a confrontation with questions and themes which might be difficult for them to acknowledge. Julien applies this ‘looking in the mirror’ aspect also to himself as an artist, since the influence and the ambivalent role of capital in the contemporary art market is such an important aspect of this film.