Isaac Julien curates Rock My Soul II (Stockholm)
The second iteration of the acclaimed exhibition Rock My Soul curated by Sir Isaac Julien, RA which premiered at Victoria Miro, London in autumn 2019 was opened in Stockholm, and hosted by Eva Livijn. The project is indebted and dedicated to the late eminent black feminist scholar and writer bell hooks, whose seminal book of the same title Rock My Soul investigates the role of black self-esteem in empowering a body politic, both culturally and politically. As she wrote: “without self-esteem everyone loses his or her sense of meaning, purpose, and power”.
Eva Livijn and Isaac Julien present this exhibition in support of racial and gender equality from artists who all contribute powerful black female and non-binary voices from the African diaspora. The exhibition engages with internationalism and cosmopolitanism and paves the way for a local/global critical discourse concerning race and gender as configured in the Swedish and Nordic art scene.
The aim of the show – presented in Eva Livijn’s house-gallery - is to critically celebrate international, cross-generational artists of colour who have shaped and transformed the contemporary art scene, and continue to expand the language of figuration, abstraction, and self-representation in contemporary art. The exhibition proposes that the questions of race and gender are as relevant as ever, and that the affirmation of self-esteem, which bell hooks writes about, is integral to the way we approach the work of these artists.