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The Long Road to Mazatlán

Film still of bald man framed by legs wearing jeans.

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  • Film still of bald man framed by legs wearing jeans.




Isaac Julien (Director) and Javier De Frutos (Choreography and Movement)
English, born 1960; Venezuelan, born 1963

About this artwork

One of England’s most important independent filmmakers and a founder of the pioneering Sankofa Film and Video Collective (1983–92), Isaac Julien creates highly seductive films and video installations that explore the representation of race and masculinity in visual culture. Conflating conventional cinematic structure with avant-garde techniques, Julien subverts stereotypical portrayals of black and gay subjects, forcing viewers to question accepted representational archetypes. Produced collaboratively with Venezuela-born choreographer Javier De Frutos, The Long Road to Mazatlán is a modern cowboy story. Shot in and around San Antonio, Texas, the film captures the erotically charged interchanges between a young Hispanic man and the emotionally unavailable cowboy he pursues. Shot in lush color and layered imagery, the protagonists play out, as actors and at times as dancers, the subtle drama of the everyday, performing within carefully constructed environments. Through selected editing and the use of a three-screen installation, the artist composes a mise-en-scène that explores the social construction of masculinity within mythic landscapes of the American West.


Currently Off View


Contemporary Art


Isaac Julien


The Long Road to Mazatlán


United States (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

Made 2000


16mm black-and-white and color film, sound, transferred to three-channel digital video (rear projection on screen); 17:44 min. loop

Credit Line

Gift of Donna and Howard Stone

Reference Number


Extended information about this artwork

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