25 October - 29 November 2003
Isaac Julien's New York gallery debut at Metro Pictures will introduce Baltimore, a three-screen 16-mm film projection that is the artist's most recent work. Filmed in Baltimore at The Great Blacks in Wax Museum, the Peabody Library, and the Walters Museum, the film stars the famed blaxploitation film director Melvin Van Peebles and an archetypal, Foxy Brown-type character played by Vanessa Myre. Baltimore, incorporating high tech special effects and futuristic disjunction, pays homage to 70's blaxploitation films inspired by the styles, gesture, language and iconography explored in Julien's documentary film on the genre Baadasssss Cinema.
The exhibition also includes the uncanny sculptural double of Melvin Van Peebles that appears in the film, and large-scale still photographs made of key locations and images before and during the filming.
Isaac Julien was born in 1960 in London, where he currently lives and works. Julien graduated from St Martin's School of Art in 1984 where he studied painting and film. Julien's films include his three-screen project Paradise Omeros featured in Documenta 11 in Kassel Germany and shown last Spring at the Bohen Foundation; The Long Road to Mazatlan (1999), made in collaboration with Javier de Frutos; Vagabondia (2000), choreographed by Javier de Frutos, for which Julien was nominated for the 2001 Turner Prize; Frantz Fanon: Black Skin, White Mask (1996); the Cannes prize-winning Young Soul Rebels (1991); and the poetic documentary Looking for Langston (1989).