Art Life , Exhibitions Mar 21, 2014 No Comments

From Andrew Frost

Over the last decade, as high end video art edged ever closer to cinema, the demarcation of what constituted a “film” and a “work of art” became harder to discern. Notable art/cinema cross over success stories such as Steve McQueen’s recent best picture Oscar win for 12 Years A Slave proved that it was possible for an artist to make a successful, mainstream narrative film. Isaac Julien’s Young Soul Rebels [1991] was one of the pioneering works in that interstitial space between art and entertainment, and his most recent work, Playtime [2013], at Roslyn Oxley Gallery, returns the image to the gallery.

QT_March 21_Capital

Whereas Julien’s Ten Thousand Waves [2010] – which premiered at that year’s Biennale of Sydney – expanded the cinema experience into multiple screens and viewpoints, Playtime is a single screen [albeit double projection] story of the vicissitudes of the art market itself, featuring actors that include Maggie Cheung and James Franco starring alongside art world figures such as Simon de Pury.  The context for the show is everything – accompanying the work is a companion video work Kapital, and a suite of six large-scale photographic works – and although the main work may achieve the status of cinema, its still very much of the art world. And, of course, it’s for sale.

Until April 12
Roslyn Oxley Gallery, Paddington
Pic: Isaac Julien, Playtime, 2013. ?Double projection, edge blended, single screen ultra high definition with 5.1 surround sound?(Still). 66 mins.

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Andrew Frost

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