Galerie Ron Mandos is proud to present PLAYTIME, a new film installation by the internationally acclaimed video artist Isaac Julien. After the huge success of Julien’s installation film TEN THOUSAND WAVES (2010), his most recent video work PLAYTIME explores current issues such as the ambivalent relationship between capital, the contemporary art world and the individual. In addition, a suite of accompanying photographic works will be presented.


PLAYTIME is set across three cities defined by their relation to capital: Dubai, the new center for wealth in the world; London, a city transformed by the deregulation of banks and Reykjavik, where in 2008 the financial crisis began. All the characters, such as the Artist, the Art Dealer or the Hedge Fund Manager explore their relationship with the global financial crisis and the role of contemporary art in it.

The characters are based on real individuals whom Julien interviewed and researched extensively,  including renowned actors James Franco, Maggie Cheung, Mercedes Cabral, Colin Salmon, Ingvar Eggert Sigurðsson and world-famous auctioneer Simon de Pury, as himself.

With his luxurious and seductive way of making his films Isaac Julien utilizes the contemporary cinematic vocabulary to the fullest extent and at the same time tries to lure the audience into a confrontation with questions and themes which might be difficult for them to acknowledge. Julien applies this ‘looking in the mirror’-aspect also to himself as an artist, since the influence and the ambivalent role of capital in the contemporary art market is such an important aspect of this film.

Isaac Julien (UK, 1960) is a British installation artist and filmmaker who tries to break down barriers between different artistic disciplines such as film, photography, installation, music, theatre and painting. In doing so, he creates a unique poetic visual language in audiovisual film installations. Julien was nominated for the Turner Prize in 2001 and is represented in museums and private collections all over the world, including The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), Tate Modern, Centre Pompidou, Guggenheim Collection and many more.

ABOUT Isaac Julien

Sir Isaac Julien KBE RA (GB, 1960), a London-born filmmaker and installation artist, is celebrated for his groundbreaking approach to art, seamlessly merging film, dance, photography, music, theater, painting, and sculpture to craft compelling visual narratives through multi-screen film installations. Notably, his 1989 documentary-drama “Looking for Langston” and the Cannes Film Festival Semaine de la Critique prize-winning debut feature, “Young Soul Rebels” (1991), garnered critical acclaim on a global scale.

Julien’s international acclaim extends to prestigious solo exhibitions at prominent venues, including the Barnes Foundation, Smith College Museum of Art, and Bechtler Museum of Modern Art. His works have graced the walls of renowned institutions such as the Museum of Modern Art and the Art Institute of Chicago.

In addition to his artistic pursuits, Julien has made significant contributions to academia, holding key positions at institutions like the University of Arts London and Staatliche Hoscschule fur Gestaltung, Karlsruhe. His educational efforts were further recognized when he was awarded the James Robert Brudner ’83 Memorial Prize and delivered lectures at Yale University in 2016.

Isaac Julien’s dedication to the arts has earned him distinguished accolades, including The Royal Academy of Arts Charles Wollaston Award in 2017 and a knighthood as part of Queen Elizabeth II’s Honours List in 2022. Furthermore, he was honored with the esteemed Kaiserring Goslar Award in 2022.

In April 2023, Tate Britain hosted a comprehensive survey show, presenting Isaac Julien’s illustrious career. This exhibition featured works spanning four decades, encompassing early films and expansive multi-screen installations that delve into the themes of global movement and history. It marked the first-ever presentation of Isaac Julien’s extensive body of work in the United Kingdom. Following its showcase at Tate Britain, the exhibition traveled to K21 in Düsseldorf, with its next destination set to be Bonnefanten in Maastricht, where it will be open for viewing from March 9 onwards.