This ten-screen film installation (on view at Modern One from 29 July–10 October 2021) offers a poetic meditation on the life and times of Frederick Douglass, the visionary African American writer, abolitionist, and a freed slave, who spent two years in Edinburgh in the 1840s campaigning across Scotland, England, and Ireland for freedom and social justice.
Filmed at sites in Edinburgh and other locations in Scotland, London, and at Douglass's home in Washington, DC, Julien's film portrait is informed by some of the abolitionist's most important speeches, weaving historical scenes with footage from recent times to foreground the continued relevance and urgency of Douglass's words in the present day.
Image: Isaac Julien, Lessons of the Hour (Lessons of the Hour), 2019
Framed photograph on matt archival paper, mounted on aluminium
160 x 213.29 cm, 63 x 84 in
© Isaac Julien.
Courtesy the artist and Victoria Miro