Isaac Julien: Geopoetics, the book

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posted on 10/16/2012
In-depth publication promotes greater understanding of Julien’s oeuvre

Published on the occasion of Isaac Julien: Geopoetics, featuring at SESC Pompeia until December 16th, the namesake book was designed to converse with the show. Hence, its graphic design translates the dimension of the filmic works and their relationship with space. The publication includes texts by authors who are known for their research and curating work and have a deep affinity to Isaac Julien’s subject matters and procedures. It also brings synopses of all films in the program, which will air on SESCTV starting on October 22nd.

The book is part of a joint effort by Videobrasil and SESC to build a Brazilian contemporary art library containing “products with original design and editorial concept,” explains Teté Martinho, the editor in charge of the publication. “Issac Julien: Geopoetics is another important step in that direction. For its iconographic and design qualities, the book configures itself as an object to be enjoyed in standalone form, transcending the condition of catalogue as it expands upon the show’s contents with essays by leading thinkers – who address aesthetical, political, and gender-related issues in the artist’s oeuvre – and thoughts from Julien himself." Geopoetics, the book, was organized by the editor, alongside the design team at Estúdio Mola, around four different sections which explore the different scopes of visuality in the artwork at hand.

In an exclusive interview, Isaac Julien addresses the subject matters and makes remarks concerning his works. The theoretical essays, in turn, were written by the show’s curator Solange Farkas and by four other authors: Lisa Bloom, a faculty member at the University of California, makes aesthetic and political remarks on colonization, sexuality and migration issues, mostly pertaining to the piece Fantôme Créole. The curator and scholar Mark Nash, a professor, head of the curating contemporary art programme of the Royal College of Art, London, and the co-curator of the Documenta11 (2002), reviews the multiplicity of meanings found in Isaac Julien’s work, such as the corporal dynamics – seen in both the choreography of actors and performers on film, and in the movement of audiences as they walk through his installations – or the reallocations of themes from the history of art. Vinicius Spricigo, a researcher at the Interdisciplinary Centre for Culture and Media Semiotics (CISC) of the Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo (PUC/SP), uses the ideas of Vilém Flusser to outline relationships between contemporary art and issues such as post-colonialism and cultural ‘anthropophagy.’ An associate professor at the Media Art Department of the Karlsruhe University of Art and Design, in Germany, Rania Gaafar draws parallels between geographical space and the space created by installation- and image-in-motion-based art, and reviews how Isaac Julien tackles the anthropological, sociological, and geopolitical dimensions.

Isaac Julien: Geopoetics. 210 pages, hardcover, bilingual (Portuguese and English), R$ 120.00. On sale from SESC stores.

On the 20th this month, Vinicius Spricigo, Rania Gaafar and Lisa Bloom will participate in an open seminar. Click here for more details.