Isaac Julien

What Freedom Is To Me



ISBN: 9781849768399 Category:


Tate Britain Exhibition, 26 April – 20 August 2023
‘Dance, theatre, music, sculpture, painting, all of these different modes of art-making are encapsulated into my practice, which is why I chose film as a medium for making my work.’ – Isaac Julien

Celebrated for his compelling lyrical films and video art installations, Isaac Julien is one of the leading artists working today.

This landmark book reveals the scope of Julien’s pioneering practice of over forty years, from the early 1980s to the present day, showcasing works from early films to large-scale, multi-screen installations which investigate the movement of peoples across different continents, times and spaces. It includes some of his early projects as part of Sankofa Film and Video Collective (1983-92); his critically acclaimed ten-screen video installation Lessons of the Hour 2019, a portrait of the life and times of Frederick Douglass, the visionary African American orator, philosopher and self-liberated freedom-fighter; and Once Again … (Statues Never Die) 2022.

The wide range of writers and collaborators who have contributed to this book highlight Julien’s critical thinking and the way his work breaks down barriers between different artistic disciplines, drawing from film, dance, photography, music, theatre, painting and sculpture by using the themes of desire, history and culture.

Featuring strikingly beautiful reproductions of these extraordinarily powerful works, this publication enriches our understanding and appreciation of a remarkable artist.

The Isaac Julien app allows readers to immerse themselves in the images of the films and installations by bringing to life the artist’s work in his recent publications ‘What Freedom Is To Me’. Users are able to position their phone’s camera over a variety of specially chosen images that come to life, in movement and sound, highlighting the artist’s multifaceted practice that draws from film, dance, photography, music, theatre, painting and sculpture by utilising the themes of desire, history and culture.

Additional information

Weight 1076 g
Dimensions 23.4 x 27.6 cm
Publisher name Tate Publishing
Publication date 15 August 2023
Number of pages 208
Format Paperback / softback
Contributors Edited by Isabella Maidment, Text by Caleb Azumah Nelson, Maria Balshaw, Celeste-Marie Bernier, Adam Finch, Jack Halberstam, Nina Kellgren, Nathan Ladd, Luigia Lonardelli, Mark Nash, Irit Rogoff, Wole Soyinka, and Bradford Young
Dimensions 23.4 x 27.6 cm
Weight 1076 g


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