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, CBE RA is a critically acclaimed British artist and filmmaker. In 2018, Julien joined the faculty at the University of California Santa Cruz where he is a distinguished professor of the arts and leads the Isaac Julien Lab together with Arts Professor Mark Nash. Current and recent international solo exhibitions include: Isaac Julien: Lina Bo Bardi — A Marvellous Entanglement, CentroCentro (Panorama Madrid), Madrid, Spain, on view until 29 August 2021; Isaac Julien: Lessons of the Hour, McAvoy Foundation for the Arts, San Francisco (2020–2021); Isaac Julien: Lina Bo Bardi — A Marvellous Entanglement, MAXXI, Rome (2020–2021); Isaac Julien: Western Union: Small Boats, Neuberger Museum, New York (2020); Isaac Julien: Frederick Douglass: Lessons of the Hour, SCAD Museum of Art, Savannah (2019); Looking for Langston at Tate Britain (2019); and Playtime at LACMA (2019). Julien has previously exhibited at venues including Museum of Modern Art, New York (2013), Art Institute of Chicago (2013), Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego (2012), and Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris (2005). 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) in 2017.

Isaac Julien was born in 1960, London, UK
He lives and works in London, UK and Santa Cruz, CA