Isaac Julien: “Once Again…(Statues Never Die)”

(September 5, 2022) @isaacjulien exhibition at the Barnes Foundation”Once Again…(Statues Never Die)” is one of the most beautiful, thoughtful, moving, and intelligent projects I have ever seen, not just by him, but by anyone. Maybe it is because it’s staged in my birthplace in a museum I have seen transformed from a stuffy relic into the most dynamic place in Philadelphia for engaging and diverse programming that I felt so attached to it. But it is isaac’s ongoing engagement with issues of difference that have become so polemical in daily life and this time embedded them in the history of this formerly esoteric museum that left me feeling newly optimistic about the ability of art to be intellectually and spiritually transformative. I felt myself becoming emotional—and I never cry from looking at exhibitions. It closed earlier today and I can’t stop thinking about it. I won’t mind losing sleep as I replay it’s complexity in my mind’s eye. More images and video clips here.