‘Once Again… (Statues Never Die)’ is an immersive five-screen installation by artist and filmmaker Sir Isaac Julien.
Isaac Julien, Statues Never Die (Once Again… Statues Never Die), 2022. Inkjet print on Canson Platine Fibre Rag. 150 x 200cm. © Isaac Julien. Courtesy of the artist and Victoria Miro.
Commissioned by the Barnes Foundation in celebration of its centenary, the work explores the relationship between Dr. Albert C. Barnes, who was an early US collector and exhibitor of African material culture, and the famed philosopher and cultural critic Alain Locke, known as the ‘Father of the Harlem Renaissance’.
‘Once Again… (Statues Never Die)’ examines the significant and often neglected place of African objects in numerous collections of western art museums. Utilising poetic reparation and historical archives – drawing on Julien’s extensive research in the archives of the Barnes Foundation – the film explores the impact of Locke’s political philosophy and cultural organising activities on Dr. Barnes’s pioneering art collecting and his democratic, inclusive educational enterprise.
‘Once Again… (Statues Never Die)’ stars actor André Holland (Moonlight and Passing) as Alain Locke, Danny Huston (Succession and Marlowe) as Dr. Barnes, rising star Devon Terrell as sculptor Richmond Barthé, and Sharlene Whyte (Small Axe and Lessons of the Hour) as the curator. It also features a special appearance by singer and songwriter Alice Smith.
Aspects of the film are expanded upon in Julien’s new series of photographic works on view at Victoria Miro.
The exhibition will be on view from the 2nd of May until the 4th of June, 2023. For more information, please visit Victoria Miro.