Isaac Julien and Rolls-Royce Collaboration

April 23, 2015

British artist Isaac Julien is preparing an exciting project for the upcoming 56th Venice Biennale. Isaac Julien joins forces with the motorcar giant Rolls-Royce to film in the depths of the glacial caves. Film installation titled Stones Against Diamonds is inspired by the passage from Lina Bo Bardi’s letter. Apart from exploring semi-precious stones and precious gemstones the film also takes on a role of researching the subconscious process in the creative production. Stones Against Diamonds will have its debut in June at the 56th Venice Biennale.

 Isaac Julien and Rolls-Royce Collaboration
Isaac Julien - Horizon Playtime, 2013

Stones Against Diamonds

Isaac Julien drew inspiration for this piece from a slightly forgotten Italian-born Brazilian architect and designer Lina Bo Bardi. Stones Against Diamonds is a passage in her letter that explores her preference of semi-precious stones over the precious gemstones. This was inspiring for both Rolls-Royce and the artist who choose to research the portrayal of the beautiful objects in a conventional sense. Rolls-Royce found it easy to identify with the story about quality of the spectacular natural materials for the company has always been striving towards the use of the best resources since its beginnings. In the course of the filming Isaac Julien traveled to the Rolls-Royce home in Goodwood and found inspiration in the mixture of unmatched engineering and hand-craftsmanship that he was later able to incorporate into the film as Rolls-Royce Spirit of Ecstasy hood ornament.

 Isaac Julien and Rolls-Royce Collaboration
Isaac Julien - Midnight Sun, 2013, 

Isaac Julien’s Vision

As for Isaac Julien’s experience of the Bo Bardi’s story it is more that of a metaphor of the unconscious, inaccessible place of beauty that can be reach only through the process of psychoanalysis and artistic reflection. That is why he decided to film in the otherworldly, hard-to-reach set of the South West of Iceland. With a support from Rolls-Royce Isaac Julien was able to film in the depths of the thousands of years old caves and with a crew of nearly fifty people he could reach the hearth of those magnificent glacial caves. Together with his team Isaac Julien introduced spiral staircase and glass easels as the reference to Lina Bo Bardi’s architectural elements in contrast with the natural constituents of the cave. In the Stones Against Diamonds Isaac Julien employs one of his regular muses, the actress and performer Vannesa Myrie as a guiding figure that leads us on spiritual journey amidst the breathtaking scenery of the glaciers, rocks, caves and black volcanic sands.

 Isaac Julien and Rolls-Royce Collaboration
Isac Julien - Creative Caribbean network, Courtesy of Curated

Isaac Julien and Rolls-Royce Collaboration

Isaac Julien is a British artist whose practise includes wide range of disciplines. He is renowned for the unique way in which he unites all the various disciplines and produces dramatic audio visual film installations, video, photography and documentary films. Isaac Julien has received recognitions for his work among which is the nomination for the prestigious Turner Award. Isaac Julien's works are currently on display at the De Pont Museum in Tilburg, The Netherlands, read more here. He was commissioned Stones Against Diamonds for the Rolls-Royce’s art programme which brings together finest mechanical elegance of motor cars and the contemporary art from around the globe. Artists prior to Isaac Julien that were given the same honour were Ugo Rondinone, Regine Silveira, Erwin Wurm, Morgan Wong, Will Cotton and Angela Bulloch.

Stones Against Diamonds represents a prelude to a larger piece that Isaac Julien will execute in 2016. The Stones Against Diamonds will still refer to the Lina Bo Bardi’s work and will be filmed in Italy and Brazil. The Stones Against Diamonds will have its debut at the 56th Venice Biennale and afterwards will be on display in Basel at the Elisabethen Kirchen. Eventually the “Stones Against Diamonds” will be donated to the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in London. Following the Venice Biennale the work will be on the display on June 16th and 17th 2015 at the Art Basel.

Read some more on how art and film intertwine in case of Wim Weders's photography and Kubrick's influence on art.

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Images in Feature: Isaac Julien - Small Boats 2 Courtesy of Kino der and Isaac Julien - Scene from Stones Against Diamonds, Courtesy of Blouinartinfo

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