A film still from Isaac Julien’s Lesson of the Hour. A Black woman and a Black man dressed in fine nineteenth century fashions sit in a high quality carriage. The woman reaches over to clasp the hand of the man, they both look out the carriage window.

Lessons of the Hour: Isaac Julien

‘Lessons of the Hour’ is a ten-screen immersive film installation and photography exhibition by British artist Isaac Julien that explores the life of the visionary African American abolitionist Frederick Douglass.

A still of a film by Christopher Harris. It shows a Black man’s face looking into the lens, with layers of light lines floating across the frame, and a large blown out bright spot covering the person’s left eye.

New Labor Movements

Oakland-based curator Leila Weefur organizes the program to consider the question of “What is America today?” as inspired by ‘Lessons of the Hour,’ British artist Isaac Julien’s immersive film and photographic exhibition on the life and legacy of Frederick Douglass.

An opulent double portrait of two gender ambiguous individuals. One person seated in a chair with long, red twisted hair draped down their chest and piled high on their head. The subject wears a strapless dress with floral patterning on the hem expanding up toward the bodice. The second subject is on the floor leaning against the first person. They have long, wavy black hair, full lips, and high cheek bones. Theyre wearing a matching cape and jacket and an embroidered shirt. Their expression is coy.


Orlando draws upon the themes of Virginia Woolf’s seminal novel to celebrate openness, curiosity, and human possibility.