Isaac Julien Scopic Landscapes at Galeria Nara Roesler

By ARC Magazine Friday, December 14th, 2012 Categories: Exhibitions, Updates

Galeria Nara Roesler presents Scopic Landscapes, a new exhibition of photographic works by Isaac Julien, one of the most prominent names of contemporary expanded cinema. Curated by Mark Nash, Scopic Landscapes offers a renewed contact with Isaac Julien’s artistic practice, presenting photographs that create a peculiar relationship with his video-installation works True North (2004), Fantôme Créole (2005) and Ten Thousand Waves (2010).

Isaac Julien, Scopic Landscapes, 2012. Exhibition view at Galeria Nara Roesler. Photographer: Everton Ballardin. © Galeria Nara Roesler.


Scopic Landscape runs from 1December 2012 through 31 January 2013. Galeria Nara Roesler is located at Av. Europa, 655, São Paulo, SP 01449-001 Brazil. Opening Hours are Monday–Friday 10–7pm, and Saturday 11–3pm. For further information T 55(11)3063 2344 or email 

In the photographs, the rigor with which the artist creates film takes may be observed from another angle. Shot on production set they are, contrary to belief, not film production stills but professional large format photography. As observed by Nash, Julien works with "constructed, mythical images," heightening the eloquence of space to raise questions such as "how to think the experience of individuals and artistic practice as being, at the same time related to a place and integrated within a global network? How does one reconcile the agonizing worlds that are presented to us, the clash of ideologies and perspectives?"

His strong social-political tone, which is evident in his narrative constructions, is subtly presented in this exhibition. The visual delight of each image gradually opens up a critical intent both through the dissonance present in the display of several images of different series, which creates an analytical journey on the social and geographic relations and in the careful composition of each frame, in which the mythical tone discretely raises political and aesthetic inquiry. Well known for investigating the absences and omissions of historical accounts and narratives, Julien employs evocative themes in the construction of a new cinematic language. In the works of the artist, the images we confront are not mere representations; rather, they are themselves aesthetic knowledge, fragments of lived life.

Scopic Landscapes marks the beginning of the collaboration between Isaac Julien and Galeria Nara Roesler.

Ten Thousand Waves, 2010, Installation view, Bass Museum of Art, Miami.


About Isaac Julien

Born in 1960, in London, where he lives and works, Isaac Julien graduated in painting and fine art film from St. Martins School of Art in 1984. The year before, he had created his first film collective, called Sankofa Film and Video Collective. One of his most renowned films is Young Soul Rebels (1991), which received the critics prize at the Cannes International Film Festival. In 2001, Julien was nominated for the Turner Prize. In 2003, he won the Grand Jury Prize at the Kunstfilm Biennale, in Cologne, for Baltimore; in 2008, his film Derek won the Special Teddy Award at the Berlin International Film Festival. Besides participating, with the installation Paradise Omeros, in the Documenta11, in Kassel (2002), he has already done solo shows in institutions, such as the Centre Pompidou, in Paris; MoCA Miami; Kerstner Gesellschaft, Hannover; and the Chiado Museum of Contemporary Art, Lisbon. His most recent large-size installation, Ten Thousand Waves has been seen at the The Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego (2012); Helga de Alvear Gallery, Madrid; ShanghART Gallery, Shanghai; Hayward Gallery, London; Bass Museum, Miami; ICA, Boston; Kunsthalle, Helsinki; and at the Sydney Biennial (2011). In 2013, the New York MoMA will hold a special show dedicated to his work. His works are part of the collections of Tate Gallery, in London; MoMA and Guggenheim Museum, in New York; and the Centre Pompidou, in Paris, among other institutions and private collections.

About the curator

Mark Nash is a curator and film critic. He is currently professor and head of the Department of Curating Contemporary Art at the Royal College of Art, London. Cocurator of Documenta11 (2002), his most recent exhibition, One Sixth of the Earth, at MUSAC (Spain), focuses on contemporary works involving moving image in the former Soviet Union. In the 1970s and 1980s, he became actively involved in the British film scene as editor of Screen magazine (1976-81) and as an independent filmmaker. His essays from that period are in the book Screen Theory Culture (London: Palgrave MacMillan, 2008).

ARC Magazine
ARC Magazine

ARC Inc. is a non-profit print and online publication and social platform launched in 2011. It seeks to fill a certain void by offering a critical space for contemporary artists to present their work while fostering and developing critical dialogues and opportunities for crucial points of exchange. ARC is an online and social space of interaction with a developed methodology of sharing information about contemporary practices, exhibitions, partnerships, and opportunities occurring in the Caribbean region and throughout its diasporas.