Isaac Julien | Metro Pictures Online Film Festival

Isaac Julien. Baltimore (2003) screened as part of Metro Pictures Online Film Festival
April 29, 2020

This weekend Metro Pictures are showing Isaac Julien’s single-screen version of Baltimore. Link here.

The film focuses on filmmaker Melvin Van Peebles and an Afro-Cyborg woman, embodied by Vanessa Myrie, making their way through significant cultural sites of the city. The pair traverses the Walters Art Museum, the National Great Blacks in Wax Museum, and the George Peabody Library. Each institution lays a different claim to history, and the work explores the many ways that history is made, documented, silenced, or foretold, and indicates the artist’s deep concern for the construction of an archive. Julien seeks to create a “third dimension,” a space that draws from Afro-futurism and the past, present, and future of black culture in the U.S.

Baltimore was the focus of Julien’s first exhibition at Metro Pictures. It has also been exhibited or screened at the Baltimore Museum; Bass Museum, Miami; 3rd Berlin Biennale; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin; Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal; Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Sydney; Singapore Art Museum; and Whitechapel Gallery, London. It was co-commissioned by the Contemporary Museum, Baltimore; the Walters Art Museum, Baltimore; and FACT (Foundation for Art & Creative Technology), in association with the Great Blacks in Wax Museum, Baltimore; the George Peabody Library, Baltimore; and Eyebeam Atelier, New York. It debuted at Baltimore’s Contemporary Museum in 2004.

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