Julien: Lessons of the Hour

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A visual and literary meditation that juxtaposes
Isaac Julien’s artworks with archival images of Frederick Douglass and essays that consider his enduring legacy.

This sumptuously illustrated artist’s book and reader documents Lessons of the Hour (2019), the ten-screen film installation, and a series of related photographic artworks by the internationally acclaimed artist Isaac Julien, that honor the public and private life of one the most visionary figures in U.S. history: Frederick Douglass. The visionary African American orator, philosopher, intellectual, and self-liberated freedom-fighter was born into slavery in Maryland and went on to develop a remarkable aesthetic theory through his thinking and writing on abolitionism and Black self-representation by using the apparatus of photography. Isaac Julien's, Lessons of the Hour — Frederick Douglass takes the reader on the journey through Douglass; life and thinking, and is a vital consideration of his political and aesthetic legacy.

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