Video: 'Looking for Langston' (1989) by Isaac Julien presented by SescTV; the video series with introducing words by the artist himself is part of the show 'Isaac Julien: Geopoetics'. "It was the time that the Negro was in vogue" is cited in the middle of the video at 27:40.
"...when the Negro was in vogue"
...wrote Langston Hughes in the non-fiction book 'The Big Sea', first published in 1940, and described with this saying the cultural movement of the 'Harlem Renaissance' in New York City during the 1920ies when Manhattan's culture scene focused on African Americans' artistic expressions such as on view at the Cotton Club in Harlem where jazz musicians like Duke Ellington performed live on stage. "It was a period when every season there was at least one hit play on Broadway acted by a Negro cast." Langston Hughes.
In November 2012, SescTV (main partner of Videobrasil) posted British artist and film-maker Isaac Julien's art-documentary 'Looking for Langston' (1989). Isaac Julien combined for the film vintage footage elements with surreal dream sequences, text from the black poets Essex Hemphill, Bruce Nugentand, references visually the work of photographer Robert Mapplethorpe, and narrates an "imagined love story" such as the film is described on the artist's website.
'Looking for Langston' is the third episode from the 7 parts series 'Isaac Julien: Geopoetics' and focuses on black movement and the poetics of gender. "Julien invokes him as a gay and black cultural icon, as he draws parallels between a 1920s Harlem speakeasy (a bar that illegally sells alcohol) and a 1980s London nightclub." site.videobrasil.org.br
The video series is on view in conjunction with the artist's first solo exhibition in Brazil.
'Isaac Julien: Geopoetics' shows selected work by the British audiovisual media artist Isaac Julien from the last three decades at SESC Pompeia; the exhibition is open until 16 December 2012.