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Isaac Julien. Lina Bo Bardi – A marvellous Entanglement | ARTLECTURE

Isaac Julien. Lina Bo Bardi – A marvellous Entanglement

-MAXXI - National Museum of 21st Century Arts-

/People & Artist/
by Maxxi. Rome

Isaac Julien. Lina Bo Bardi – A marvellous Entanglement
-MAXXI - National Museum of 21st Century Arts-
VIEW 77

HIGHLIGHT


Isaac Julien’s passion for Lina Bo Bardi emerged in the 1990s during a trip to Brazil, where he saw a number of her fascinating and bold buildings. Since then, his artistic career regularly crossed paths with her creative universe, establishing a fruitful and successful dialogue between their works.

Lina Bo Bardi – A Marvellous Entanglement is an enthralling tribute to the great Italian Brazilian architect Lina Bo Bardi by the English artist and filmmaker Isaac Julien, presented at MAXXI the National Museum of XXI Century Arts from September 23, 2020 to January 17, 2021, and curated by Luigia Lonardelli. Following the exhibition Lina Bo Bardi in Italia. Quello che volevo era avere storia, organised by MAXXI on the occasion of the centenary of her birth, Lina Bo Bardi – A Marvellous Entanglement offers the public an opportunity to rediscover this pioneer of Italian modern architecture from a new vantage point.


Isaac Julien CBE RA was born in London in 1960. He pioneered multiple screen installation techniques in the field of contemporary art over the last 25 years. His works have been critically examining questions connected to the poetics of migrations, black politics and cultures in the diasporas, researching important cultural and political figures from Frantz Fanon in Frantz Fanon, Black skin White Mask (1995) to Frederick Douglass in the recent Lessons of the Hour (2019). His films have also focused on questions of queer aesthetics, as in his cult film on Langston Hughes, Looking for Langston (1989). In 2013, he had a solo exhibition at MoMA – Museum of Modern Art, New York – with the nine-screen installation Ten Thousand Waves (2010) starring Maggie Cheung. Julien received a CBE for his work in the Arts in 2017 from Her Majesty the Queen and was made a member Royal Academy in London, in 2018.


Prehistoric Technology (Lina Bo Bardi – A Marvellous Entanglement), 2019.
Face-mounted Endura Ultra photograph, 180 x 240 x 7,5 cm. Courtesy Isaac Julien Studio




Isaac Julien’s passion for Lina Bo Bardi emerged in the 1990s during a trip to Brazil, where he saw a number of her fascinating and bold buildings. Since then, his artistic career regularly crossed paths with her creative universe, establishing a fruitful and successful dialogue between their works.



A Marvellous Entanglement (Lina Bo Bardi – A Marvellous Entanglement), 2019.
Face-mounted Endura Ultra photograph, 180 x 240 x 7,5 cm. Courtesy Isaac Julien Studio




The result of a six-year research project, Lina Bo Bardi – A Marvellous Entanglement is a multi-layered immersive film installation presented on nine screens. The images were filmed in a number of buildings designed by Lina Bo Bardi in São Paulo and Salvador between the 1960s and the 1980s. These locations are exceptional settings which occasionally take on different lives to house events, leisure activities, convivial and cultural initiatives.

On this journey we are accompanied by the actresses Fernanda Montenegro and Fernanda Torres, true screen icons in Brazil and beyond. Montenegro and Torres, mother and daughter in real life, interpret the role of Lina Bo Bardi in her maturity and in her youth, staging a number of the most extraordinary episodes taken from her writings.

Isaac Julien's installation creates a dynamic yet intimate dialogue with the MAXXI building designed by Zaha Hadid, bridging further to the oeuvre of another pivotal female architect.



A Marvellous Entanglement (MAXXI commission), 2020. Photocollage, 809 x 605 cm. Courtesy Isaac Julien Studio



Isaac Julien has completely taken over MAXXI’s Gallery 3, conceiving a total work of art in situ, from the curtains to the seats, via wallpapers created especially for this occasion. Thus, we immerse ourselves in Lina Bo Bardi’s life and work: her life experiences, her reflections on politics, society and culture are presented both through her personal architectural vision and through Julien’s artistic vision. An immersive aesthetic experience, characterised by sophisticated research into the composition of sounds and images, Isaac Julien’s video installation—the beating heart of the exhibition—envelopes the viewer and crosses boundaries between artforms, time and continents.  



A marvellous entanglement, nine-screen video installation, super-high definition (4k), colour, 9.1 surround sound, wood plinths 39’ 8’’, 2019.

Courtesy Victoria Miro London/Venice and Isaac Julien Studio



Conceived as a multilayered film, the work is projected simultaneously and alternatively on nine screens, resulting in time losing its chronological feeling. The narrative planes are superimposed and both actresses—the younger and the older Lina—are often present in the same scene. That way, the limit between fiction and reality is blurred and the linearity of the biographical account is called into question. In one of the best-known passages from her correspondence, Bo Bardi writes: “Linear time is a western invention. Time is not linear, it is a marvellous entanglement, where at any moment, points can be chosen and solutions invented, without beginning or end.” 



What is a Museum? (Lina Bo Bardi – A Marvellous Entanglement), 2019.
Face-mounted Endura Ultra photograph, 180 x 240 x 7,5 cm. Courtesy Isaac Julien Studio

all images/words ⓒ the artist(s) and organization(s)

☆Donation: https://www.paypal.com/paypalme/artlecture

Isaac Julien. Lina Bo Bardi – A marvellous Entanglement

Maxxi. Rome

September 23, 2020 – February 28, 2021

For more details: https://www.maxxi.art/en/events/isaac-julien-lina-bo-bardi-un-meraviglioso-groviglio/