The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) presents ‘Isaac Julien: Playtime’, the artist’s first major solo presentation in Los Angeles. May 5 – August 11, 2019.
Marking the artist’s first major solo presentation in Los Angeles, the film “Playtime (2014) stars actors Maggie Cheung, James Franco, Colin Salmon, auctioneer Simon de Pury, and others in a captivating critique of the influence of capital on the art market. “Playtime has been exhibited at Fort Mason, San Francisco (2017), Platform-L Contemporary Arts Center, Seoul (2017); and Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo, Mexico City (2016); as well as other venues around the world. The exhibition is curated by Christine Y. Kim, associate curator of contemporary art at LACMA.
“Playtime explores global themes of the circulation of capital, economic disparity, migration, and geopolitics, and it offers rhetorical yet intimate narratives for a viewer to enter into them,” describes Christine Y. Kim. “In this film, Julien realizes with great poetry, beauty and empathy, five disparate vignettes of compelling characters operating in fragmented zones of contemporary life. It forces us to recognize that the global economic and cultural systems that bring us together also keep us apart.”
Isaac Julien’s moving-image installation “Playtime” (2013) explores the complex subject of capital. A reconsideration of Jacques Tati’s 1967 film of the same name, “Playtime” unfolds across three metropoles—London, Reykjavik, and Dubai—that represent cities and populations extensively reshaped by the 2008 global financial crisis. Julien interrogates the effects of economic volatility on diverse individuals by weaving together the lives of six archetypal characters: the Hedge Fund Manager, the Artist, the Art Dealer, the Auctioneer, the Reporter, and the House Worker. Each narrative illustrates the disparate, dramatic ways that communities and people are affected by the fluctuations of financial markets, whether they are involved in them at a macro or micro level.
Isaac Julien, Playtime, 2013, double projection on single screen high definition video installation with 7.1 surround sound, 38’16’’, Los Angeles County Museum of art, gift of Sheridan Brown, installation view, Metro Pictures, New York, 2013© Isaac Julien, photo courtesy the artist and Metro Pictures, New York, photograph: Genevieve Hanson.