In occasion of Miami Art Basel 2015, British artist Isaac Julien brought the suspended atmosphere of glacial ice caves to Florida.
Presented by Rolls-Royce Motor Cars in partnership with the National YoungArts Foundation, Julien’s latest audio-video installation titled Stones Against Diamonds portrays the wilderness of Iceland, while celebrating the beauty of natural elements, considered as the latest precious in a conventional sense. The actress Vanessa Myrie takes the viewer on a mesmerising journey across a symbolic landscape of glaciers, rocks and black volcanic sands, all glistening like diamonds. She acts as a spiritual guide that leads the spectators through processes of psychoanalysis and artistic reflection to finally reach the depths of the unconscious, metaphorically represented by the remote setting, a place of rich beauty but difficult to access. The piece 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. This work is a prelude to a larger piece that Isaac Julien intends to create in 2016, which will meditate on Bo Bardi’s creative production, and which will be filmed in Italy and in Brazil.
Showcased as a preview during the 56th edition of La Biennale di Venezia, and to the public during Art Basel 2015, Stone Against Diamonds made its North American debut featuring the largest presentation of the work to date.