Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, in partnership with the National YoungArts Foundation, presents Isaac Julien’s Stones Against Diamonds (Ice Cave) at Art Basel in Miami Beach 2015.
The work by the Turner Prize nominated artist, commissioned as part of the Rolls-Royce Art Programme, will be shown from 1-5 December 2015 at the National YoungArts Foundation – located at the nexus of Miami’s Wynwood Arts District, Arts and Entertainment District and Edgewater. The video installation will fill the interior of the magnificent YoungArts Jewel Box across 15 screens, the largest and most impressive presentation of the work to date.
Isaac Julien is one of Britain’s most important and influential artists. His work is the latest compelling addition to the Rolls-Royce Art Programme, founded in celebration of the marque’s commitment to creating unique, rare and aesthetically powerful motor cars, which transcend the world of conveyance to become works of art themselves. The programme seeks to draw together the handcrafted elegance of the marque’s motor cars with contemporary artists around the world, including internationally acclaimed artists Ugo Rondinone, Erwin Wurm, Regina Silveira, Will Cotton, Angela Bulloch and Morgan Wong. Julien’s commission extends his ongoing relationship with the marque following an ‘artist talk’ that he gave as part of the Rolls-Royce Art Programme during Frieze Art Fair London in 2012.
To create the Rolls-Royce commission, Isaac Julien took a film crew of 50 to the wilderness of Iceland, where they filmed for five days in isolated glacial ice caves in the South East region of Vatnajökull. The artist interpreted this remote landscape as a metaphor of the unconscious, a place of rich beauty but difficult to access other than through the processes of psychoanalysis and artistic reflection. The work was inspired by a passage from a letter taken from the anthology Stones Against Diamonds, written by the seminal modernist architect and designer, the Italian- born Brazilian Lina Bo Bardi. Julien’s work of the same name explores themes within this text where Bo Bardi admires the beauty of natural elements over precious stones, believing them to be more beautiful, and describing how collecting semi-precious stones helped inspire the architect and designer to rethink design in a most remarkable way. Signature elements of Bo Bardi’s work have left a lasting impression on both international architects and designers. Julien’s film installation incorporates her famed spiral staircase at Solar do Unhão in Bahia, Brazil; the first stage meticulously built on set in sub-zero temperatures, later continued and then merged using CGI post-production. Furthering the parallels, Julien includes Bo Bardi’s signature easels which are made of glass and concrete, two elements present in the majority of her practice. Julien references these in both the film itself and in the presentation of his work, where the film is shown on flat screens and supported by concrete blocks.