OPEN TODAY 10 - 21
Under the patronage of
Her Majesty Queen Margrethe II

Isaac Julien (2)

Isaac Julien: Western Union Series no. 8 (Sculpture for the New Millennium), 2007. Duratrans image in lightbox. 120 x 300 cm. 47 1/4 x 118 1/8 in. Courtesy of the artist and Victoria Miro, London

Isaac Julien -Western Union: small boats

February 3, 2018 – May 27, 2018

★★★★★ - Århus Stiftstidende
★★★★ - Jyllands-Posten
★★★★ - Nordjyske

The renowned British director and film artist Isaac Julien is the first artist to be showcased in the new exhibition series for the Focus-gallery. In 2018, we move our focus away from the North, as we broaden our horizons and widen our senses. In the series, called Intermezzo, the perception and understanding of the artwork are channeled through other senses than just the visual, as the artists' work reflects embracive, sentient inclusivity. 


Enclosed in a totally blue room, Isaac Julien (b. 1960) presents his three-screen installation piece Western Union: small boats from 2007. The art piece, which has been awarded several prices, depicts the recent European refugee crisis, with a focus on Lampedusa, Italy's southernmost island, known for receiving refugees. At the same time, the island is a popular tourist attraction due to its beautiful scenery. Even though the piece was created ten years ago, this issue is still as pressing as it was in 2007.

The images retain a seducing enchantment and beauty, which captivates the viewer. It takes a little while before one notices the historical consciousness, the documentarian qualities, and the political edge also present in his video pieces.


Isaac Julien has received numerous awards. In February 2018, Julien was awarded a CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire), which is one of the most prestigious, British awards. In 2001, he was short-listed for the Turner Prize, and in 2017, he received the Charles Wollaston Award from the Royal Academy of Arts in London.

A catalogue will be published for the exhibition, featuring an introductory text by Lise Pennington, senior curator at ARoS, and a peer-reviewed text by Anne Ring Petersen, associate professor at the Department of Arts and Cultural Studies at the University of Copenhagen.

The catalogue costs DKKR 79 and can be purchased here.

The exhibition is organized by senior curator at ARoS, Lise Pennington.

Isaac Julien , Western Union -Small Boats , 2007, Five -screen Projection , 16mm Film Transferred To Digital , Colour , 5.1 Surround Sound ,©2017 The Royal Academy Of Arts . Photography  Marcus Leith

Isaac Julien: Western Union: Small Boats, 2007. Five-screen projection, 16mm film transferred to digital, colour, 5.1 surround sound, 18’22’’. ©2017 The Royal Academy of Arts. Photography: Marcus Leith

This exhibition has been made possible with generous financial support from:


©ARoS 2017