At the Barnes Foundation, Isaac Julien Stages a Soaring Ode to Black Creativity
Entering Isaac Julien’s newest installation, Once Again … (Statues Never Die), is like entering into a series of questions, each composed in sumptuous, film-like black-and-white video, each projected on five wall-sized screens. The visitor to the exhibition—which runs through September 4, at the Barnes Foundation, in Philadelphia—stands in the half-circle of views, a panorama of five characters, each moving through museums and art studios, through mansions and nightclubs and landscapes of time. Altogether, it’s a dream that makes a point to not make a point at all, but instead foreground old (but still charged) debates about art and objects, about how people see things or don’t, about the resonances of violence and the power of questions to reposition us. It’s a summer must-see.
Image: Isaac Julien: Once Again … (Statues Never Die), 2022
The Barnes Foundation, installation view
Image courtesy Isaac Julien and Victoria Miro, London/Venice
© Isaac Julien
Installation photo by Henrik Kam