Moving-image and time-based artworks can visualize multiple temporalities at once and bridge the gap between lessons of the inevitable past and the possibilities of the expectant future. In this online conversation to celebrate the opening of new exhibitions at McEvoy Arts, two innovators in the creation and presentation of video art, British artist Isaac Julien CBE RA and Oakland-based artist, curator, and writer Leila Weefur, discuss the poetics and architecture of cinema. Julien’s immersive film and photography exhibition Lessons of the Hour and Weefur’s resonant video program New Labor Movements are on view from October 14, 2020 through March 13, 2021.
This conversation is moderated by Greg Niemeyer, Chair and Professor for New Media in the Department of Art Practice at the University of California, Berkeley.
ABOUT THE PARTICIPANTS
Isaac Julien, CBE RA (b. 1960) is an artist, filmmaker, and educator whose multi-screen film installations and photographs incorporate different artistic disciplines to create a poetic and unique visual language. Solo exhibitions of his work have been held at ARoS Aarhus Kunstmuseum, Denmark (2018); The Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto (2017); MAC Niterói, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (2016); MUAC (Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo), Mexico City (2016); the De Pont Museum, Netherlands (2015); Museum of Modern Art, New York (2013); the Art Institute of Chicago (2013); Nasjonalmuseet, Oslo (2012); Museum Brandhorst, Munich (2009); Pompidou Centre Paris (2005); and MoCA Miami (2005). He has exhibited at biennials including the 56th International Exhibition of Contemporary Art – La Biennale de Venezia (2015), Johannesburg Biennale (2012), Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art (2011), and Shanghai Biennale (2010). Julien is the recipient of The Royal Academy of Arts Charles Wollaston Award 2017 and was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for services to the Arts in the Queen’s Birthday 2017 Honors List. He is currently a Distinguished Professor of the Arts at the University of California, Santa Cruz, where he is developing the Isaac Julien Lab. He lives and works in London and Santa Cruz.
Leila Weefur (She/They/He) is a trans-gender-nonconforming artist, writer, and curator whose work in video and installation brings together concepts of the sensorial memory, abject Blackness, hyper surveillance, and the erotic. Weefur has worked with local and national institutions including the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, Smack Mellon, New York, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and The Wattis Institute, San Francisco. Weefur is a recipient of the Hung Liu award, the Murphy & Cadogan award, and the Walter & Elise Haas Creative Work Fund. They are a lecturer at the University of California, Berkeley, and a member of The Black Aesthetic. Weefur received their MFA from Mills College and is based in Oakland, CA.
Greg Niemeyer is a data artist and Department Chair, Associate Professor of Media Innovation at the University of California, Berkeley, since 2001. Niemeyer co-founded the Berkeley Center for New Media, focusing on the critical analysis of new media and human experiences. His work focuses on data circulations among individuals, communities and environments. His projects often materialize data in a way that people can feel.
Berkeley Arts + Design features, fortifies, and mobilizes existing excellence in the arts and design at UC Berkeley, while fostering dynamic collaboration, innovation, and public access across all arts and design fields, on campus and in public life.
The Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA) is a forum for cultural experiences that transform individuals and advance the local, national, and global discourse on art and film. BAMPFA is UC Berkeley’s premier visual arts venue, presenting more than 450 film screenings, scores of public programs, and more than twenty exhibitions annually. With its vibrant and eclectic programming, BAMPFA inspires the imagination and ignites critical dialogue through art, film, and other forms of creative expression.