Amsterdam Diary: PLAYTIME by Isaac Julien at Ron Mandos
As I was walking along the canals of Amsterdam, I noticed an image inside a gallery that looked familiar, that reminded me of home (above image). It turned out I was outside Isaac Juilen's PLAYTIME exhibition at Ron Mandos.
PLAYTIME is set across three cities defined by their relation to capital: Dubai, the new center for wealth in the world; London, a city transformed by the deregulation of banks and Reykjavik, where in 2008 the financial crisis began. All the characters, such as the Artist, the Art Dealer or the Hedge Fund Manager explore their relationship with the global financial crisis and the role of contemporary art in it.
The characters are based on real individuals whom Julien interviewed and researched extensively, including renowned actors James Franco, Maggie Cheung, Mercedes Cabral, Colin Salmon, Ingvar Eggert Sigurðsson and world-famous auctioneer Simon de Pury, as himself.
The video installation is just over 60 minutes. I was quite moved with the Dubai chapter, mostly because it captured the emotional isolation many feel in this city.
These are some images I took from the screening room.
Here's the trailer and below it is a short interview with Isaac Julien talking about PLAYTIME.