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Editorial: Features
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Isaac Julien
at Linda Pace Foundation, San Antonio Texas
Recommendation by Dan R. Goddard


Isaac Julien, still from ''Ten Thousand Waves,'' video.

Continuing through June 30, 2012

 

Visually stunning and lyrically textured, Isaac Julien’s “Ten Thousand Waves” sets a high bar for artists’ videos in a spectacular collaboration with some of China’s leading artists and cinema stars. Inspired by the 2004 Morecambe Bay tragedy, when a high tide on England’s northwest coast trapped and drowned 23 Chinese cockle-pickers, Julien’s three-screen installation shifts from news videos of the tragedy, the bustling highways of Shanghai, the ancient sea goddess Mazu (played by Maggie Cheung), floating over a lush Chinese landscape and a reconstruction of the 1934 silent film “The Goddess” with Zhao Tao wandering ghostlike through a fabled Shanghai movie studio. 

 

But Julien subtly deconstructs the magic, such as using fleeting images of Cheung suspended on wires in front of a green screen, in his moving meditation on global migration, moviemaking and myth. It’s being shown in the former condo of contemporary art patron Linda Pace along with an exhibit, “Terrain,” featuring works by 16 internationally-known artists who participated in the acclaimed residency program she founded, Artpace.


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