Isaac Julien was born in London, England, where he continues to live and work. He came to prominence in the early 1980s as a founding member of the Sankofa Film/Video Collective, a seminal U.K. group that explored new ways of representing black identity. Isaac Julien’s connection to ArtPace began in 1999. In that year he was chosen as an ArtPace resident, and while in San Antonio produced The Long Road to Mazatlán (1999), a work that went on to earn him a Turner Prize nomination in 2000.
From his critically acclaimed documentaries Looking for Langston (1989) and BaadAsssss Cinema (2002), to his multi-channel installations Paradise Omeros (2002) and altimore(2003), Julien’s work combines dreamlike rhythms and lush imagery in stylized narratives. His films subvert the cinematic gaze to address issues of immigration, race, gender, desire, and the politics of representation.
Widely considered to be one of Britain’s foremost contemporary artists, Isaac Julien has exhibited extensively around the world. Paradise Omeros debuted at Documenta11 in Kassell, Germany. Julien has had solo exhibitions at such venues as the Tate Gallery, London, England; the Aspen Art Museum, CO; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL; the BildMuseet, Umeå, Sweden; and the MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, MA. Julien has also served as a visiting lecturer at Harvard University, Cambridge, MA and is a 2001 recipient of both the Eugene McDermott Award in the Arts and the Frameline Lifetime Achievement Award (2002).