Isaac Julien – PLAYTIME

How shameful that it’s been 2 months into the new year and I haven’t done a single post! Well to be fair it has actually been a while since I’ve even been able to get myself off to see an exhibition what with studying (ignore the irony as I’m doing a museum orientated course!) work and my personal life doing it’s thing!

This weekend I got myself off to see Isaac Julien’s spectacular seven screen video installation at Victoria Miro, Playtime. My attention span for video pieces are usually quite short but this has been the first that has managed to grip me through the whole 69 minutes, the James Franco cameo helped ofcourse!

Jumping from screen to screen, breaking down the fourth wall and engulfing the viewer with breathtaking cinematography is what you can expect from this screening. Dealing with the financial crisis that started in October 2008, this work is an elegant social commentary on the events and effects that unfolded across the world.

PLAYTIME is set across three cities defined by their role in relation to capital: London, a city transformed by the deregulation of the banks; Reykjavik, where the 2008 global financial crisis began; and Dubai, one of the Middle East’s burgeoning financial markets. Part documentary and part fiction, the work follows six main protagonists – the Artist, the Hedge Fund Manager, the Auctioneer, the House Worker, the Art Dealer, and the Reporter  – interconnecting figures in the world of art and finance with the real stories of individuals deeply affected by the crisis and the global flow of capital.

The cities separate the narratives, I was almost ready to leave when it came to Reykjavik (that bloody short attention span of mine at play) but I am so glad I was made to stay. The narrative was so touching and made the subject matter much more human and heartbreaking.

Isaac Julien’s Playtime is showing at Victoria Miro (Angel/Old Street) until 1st March 2014.
Admission is free.

 

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