Ruby City announces the acquisition of Once Again…(Statues Never Die), 2022, a new five-screen film installation by the acclaimed filmmaker and artist Sir Isaac Julien, OBE. In celebration of the acquisition and the current exhibition Isaac Julien: True North, Ruby City will offer a virtual Taller Talk with Julien on Thursday, July 14, 2022, at 5 pm (CDT). Julien and Ruby City Director Elyse A. Gonzales will discuss the research process and development of True North, Julien’s 2004 film inspired by the Arctic journey of African American explorer Matthew Henson. Their conversation, part of the series Taller Talks presented by Ruby City and the Carver Community Cultural Center, will be streamed on Facebook Live.
The talk also marks the occasion of Julien’s recent knighthood: Julien received the Order of the British Empire from Queen Elizabeth II on June 1 during her Birthday Honours and Platinum Jubilee.
Isaac Julien: True North is on view at Ruby City now through July 24 and again September 8, 2022, through January 29, 2023. A future exhibition date for the new acquisition is to be announced.
Once Again…(Statues Never Die) premiered on June 19 at the Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia. A mix of fact and fiction, the work explores the relationship between Dr. Albert C. Barnes, the founder of the Barnes Foundation, and the philosopher and African American cultural critic Alain Locke, known as the “Father of the Harlem Renaissance.” Barnes was an early collector and exhibitor of African sculpture and material culture. Locke visited the Barnes collection in 1924 and, like many Black artists and thinkers of the early 20th century, was influenced by the objects from Africa. In Once Again…(Statues Never Die), Julien examines the influence of such collections on Black Modernism within the context of contemporary concerns about the colonialist history of collecting and debates around the removal of monuments.
“Statues Never Die is a form of ‘poetic restitution’ and will create the impetus for a radical reconsideration of Black Modernism and restitution and my hope is that this will provide a space for reflection that influences these debates in arts and the culture of museums generally,” said Julien.
Created and directed by Julien and co-written with Martina Klich, Once Again . . . (Statues Never Die) was commissioned by the Barnes Foundation and the Ford Foundation, with additional support from the Sharjah Art Foundation, Linda Pace Foundation, Carol Weinbaum and the University of California, Santa Cruz. Advisers to the project are Dan Hicks, Professor of Contemporary Archaeology at the University of Oxford and Curator at the Pitt Rivers Museum; Jeffrey C. Stewart, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The New Negro: The Life of Alain Locke and MacArthur Foundation Chair and Distinguished Professor of Black Studies at UC Santa Barbara; curator, filmmaker, and writer Mark Nash; and Chika Okeke-Agulu, a Nigerian-born artist and scholar based in Princeton, New Jersey. The work is executive produced by Mark Nash and produced by Andrew Fierberg and Angie Daniell.
For more information about the Barnes Foundation’s exhibition of Once Again…(Statues Never Die) visit www.barnesfoundation.org.
About the Artist
Sir Isaac Julien, OBE, was born in 1960 in London. He splits his time between London, where he maintains a studio, and Santa Cruz where he is a professor at the University of California, Santa Cruz. His 1989 film Looking for Langston (which also explored the Harlem Renaissance) garnered Julien a cult following. His 1991 feature Young Soul Rebels won the Semaine de la Critique prize at the Cannes Film Festival. Nominated for the Turner Prize in 2001, Julien has received numerous awards including the James Robert Brudner ‘83 Memorial Prize and Lecture at Yale University (2016) and the Charles Wollaston Award (2017) for most distinguished work at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition. In 2018 he was made a Royal Academician (RA). He was awarded the title Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours, 2017. Julien’s solo exhibitions and presentations include Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (Zeitz MOCAA), Cape Town (2017); Platform-L Contemporary Art Centre, Seoul (2017); The Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto (2017); Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris (2016); MAC Niterói, Rio de Janeiro (2016); Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo (MUAC), Mexico City (2016); De Pont Museum, Netherlands (2015); Museum of Modern Art, New York (2013); Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago (2013); The Bass Museum, Miami (2010); Museum Brandhorst, Munich (2009); Museum of Modern Art, Dublin (2005); Centre Pompidou, Paris (2005) and Moderna Museet, Stockholm (2005).
The Carver Community Cultural Center and Ruby City created Taller Talks to connect audiences to the wide range of artists working in the community and beyond. The name derives from the Spanish word, taller, for “studio” in English.
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About Ruby City
Ruby City is a contemporary art center in San Antonio, TX, dedicated to providing a space for the city’s thriving creative community to experience works by both local and internationally acclaimed artists. Envisioned in 2007 by the late collector, philanthropist and artist Linda Pace, Ruby City presents works from the Linda Pace Foundation Collection of more than 900 paintings, sculptures, installations and video works. The new building, designed by renowned architect Sir David Adjaye OBE, is part of a campus, which also includes Chris Park, a one-acre public green space named in memory of Pace’s son, and Studio, an auxiliary exhibition space which presents curated shows and programming throughout the year.