I Dream A World” Looking For Langston
Isaac Julien’s seminal work Looking for Langston (1989/2016) is the focus of two presentations. “I dream a world” Looking for Langston, an exhibition of newly-conceived, large-scale and silver gelatin photographic works and archival material, will be on display at Victoria Miro (18 May – 29 July). A special presentation at Photo London (18 – 21 May) features photographs presented as both large-scale works and silver gelatin prints, accompanied by an installation of the award-winning film. Shot in sumptuous monochrome Looking for Langston is a lyrical exploration – and recreation – of the private world of poet, social activist, novelist, playwright, and columnist Langston Hughes (1902 – 1967) and his fellow black artists and writers who formed the Harlem Renaissance during the 1920s. Directed by Julien while he was a member of Sankofa Film and Video Collective, and assisted by the film critic and curator Mark Nash, who worked on the original archival and film research, the 1989 film is a landmark in the exploration of artistic expression, the nature of desire and the reciprocity of the gaze, and would become the hallmark of what B. Ruby Rich named New Queer Cinema. Looking for Langston is also regarded as a touchstone for African-American Studies and has been taught widely in North American art schools for nearly 30 years.