Northwestern University

Fri 10:00 AM

Isaac Julien: The Leopard (Western Union: Small Boats)

recurring see all events in this series

When: Friday, March 15, 2019
10:00 AM - 8:00 PM  

Where: Block Museum of Art, Mary and Leigh, 40 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Cost: Free and Open to All

Contact: Lindsay Bosch  

Group: Block Museum Exhibitions

Category: Fine Arts

More Info


“ [A] refined fusion of politics, history, and stunningly lush aesthetics.” -Artforum

Isaac Julien’s groundbreaking 2007 video installation The Leopard (Western Union: Small Boats) presents a lyrical and visceral meditation on histories of African migration. Combining exquisite cinematography with elements of documentary, dance and musical performance, The Leopard juxtaposes all-too-familiar images of Mediterranean passage–Black bodies crowded in rafts, laid out in reflective blankets on Italian shores, drowning in tempestuous waters–with the tranquil spaces of European tourism and luxury.

Born in London in 1960 to Caribbean immigrant parents, Julien has crafted a singular and expansive body of work that moves effortlessly between experimental film and narrative cinema, theatrical exhibition and video installation. With characteristic formal beauty and critical depth, The Leopard (Western Union: Small Boats) synthesizes Julien’s longstanding examination of Black diasporic and postcolonial experience in a moving and humanistic 20-minute work.

Presented in conjunction with the Block’s Caravans of Gold, Fragments in Time exhibition, The Leopard (Western Union: Small Boats) challenges viewers to contemplate the inequities of globalization and the cycles of displacement and violence that have bound Europe and Africa for centuries.

The exhibition has been supported by the Mary and Leigh Block Endowment and the Illinois Arts Council Agency.

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