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Currents 34: Isaac Julien

March 24, 2012–May 5, 2013
Contemporary Galleries

London-based artist Isaac Julien is a pioneering film and video artist whose multi-screen installations display rich narrative imagery that address issues of migration, race, and global politics. Internationally recognized, Julien combines mesmerizing images with compelling audio tracks to create engaging and conceptually layered works.

Julien’s Expeditions trilogy—True North (2004), Fantôme Afrique (2005), and Western Union: Small Boats (2007), which the Milwaukee Art Museum recently acquired—is, for the first time, being presented together, sequentially, here at the Museum:

  1. True North: March 24–May 9, 2012
  2. Fantôme Afrique: May 10–June 17, 2012
  3. Western Union: Small Boats: June 28, 2012–May 5, 2013

Throughout his career, Julien has explored issues relating to his gay identity and minority status. Recently, this has evolved into a profound investigation of the disenfranchised in the age of globalism.


The acquisition of Western Union: Small Boats is funded by the Contemporary Art Society, the Ralph and Cora Oberndorfer Family Trust, and by exchange. Programming for this exhibition is generously sponsored by the Greater Milwaukee Foundation’s Johnson and Pabst LGBT Humanity Fund, the Contemporary Art Society, and the African American Art Alliance.
Image:
  • Isaac Julien, Cast No Shadow (Western Union: Small Boats Series No. 1), 2007. Courtesy of Isaac Julien, Metro Pictures, New York and Victoria Miro Gallery, London.