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Central / Art and Film: ‘Isaac Julien: Looking for Langston’
January 1 @ 10:00 am - 5:00 pm UTC+0
An event every week that begins at 10:00am on Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, repeating until February 3, 2019
An event every week that begins at 10:00am on Thursday, repeating until January 31, 2019
In conjunction with Columbus’ “I Too Sing America: The Harlem Renaissance at 100,” this exhibition presents Isaac Julien’s landmark 1989 film, “Looking for Langston,” alongside a selection of related photographic works.
Made at the height of the AIDS epidemic in London and New York, “Looking for Langston” is composed of archival moving images and original footage that reimagines the life of poet Langston Hughes and a community of gay artists during the Harlem Renaissance. The film collapses both time and geography, mixing the words of Hughes, James Baldwin and Essex Hemphill and the sounds of blues, jazz and 1980s house music.
While some photographic works distill the narrative of the film, others reflect upon its own making and artistic lineages. Julien’s sumptuous monochrome images consciously mine the aesthetics of black and queer histories, from James VanDerZee’s funerary and studio portraits of Harlem residents during the 1920s and 1930s to George Platt Lynes’s male nudes during the 1930s, to Robert Mapplethorpe’s erotized photographs of black men during the 1980s. Foregrounding black, queer experiences within both an American and international context, the work maintains its urgency today.
The exhibition runs through Sunday, Feb. 3. Admission to the Columbus Museum of Art is $14 ($8 seniors older than 60 and students older than 18, and $5 for students younger than 17). Admission is free for members, free on Sundays and $5 on Thursdays from 5 p.m.-9 p.m.)
Image credit: Isaac Julien. “Pas de Deux No.2” (“Looking for Langston” Vintage Series), 1989/2016. Courtesy the artist and Jessica Silverman Gallery, via the Columbus Museum of Art.