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ART | ‘Lessons of the Hour: Online’ 

click to enlarge Sharlene Whyte and Ray Fearon as Anna Murray and Frederick Douglass in Isaac Julien's film installation, "Lessons of the Hour — Frederick Douglass."

PHOTO COURTESY THE ARTIST, METRO PICTURES NEW YORK, AND VICTORIA MIRO LONDON/VENICE

Sharlene Whyte and Ray Fearon as Anna Murray and Frederick Douglass in Isaac Julien's film installation, "Lessons of the Hour — Frederick Douglass."


In 2019 the Memorial Art Gallery presented its recent acquisition, filmmaker Isaac Julien's video installation, "Lessons of the Hour — Frederick Douglass,” a work of non-linear cinema, unfolding in episodes as an A/V collage across 10 large and small screens. Each richly-constructed scene read as an immersive film, bringing Douglass (played masterfully by Ray Fearon) to life as he traveled via train or recited orations to halls full of supporters of abolition. The vignettes brought viewers into the rooms where he gave renowned speeches, into quietly intense moments alone with his pen, and into the present struggles with social justice when his — and our — work remains unfinished.

This week the MAG is offering another chance to view “Lessons of the Hour” online as a single-channel version. Access is free, and the work is viewable through Sunday, August 23. Register here.

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