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how the universe was born

Camille Henrot's short film "Grosse fatigue" is a mesmerizing work of poetry and vision

For every prominent show, and even more so with large-scale exhibitions such as biennials, there is always a work that is identified by the critics as brilliantly encapsulating the curatorial vision; one that is most buzzed about and best remembered by the greater audiences; and one that is awarded by the jury.


In the case of the latest Venice Biennale curated by Massimiliano Gioni, the same work appears to have succeeded in all of these categories – a 13 minutes video entitled Grosse Fatigue by French artist Camille Henrot, the winner of the Silver Lion as most promising young artist.


Originated from Henrot’s participation in the Artist Research Fellowship Program at the Smithsonian Institution, the work is a mesmerising tale of the story of the universe’s creation, combining a poem delivered in the style of spoken word with a sequence of scenes appearing like screen pop-ups. In keeping up with the artist’s intuitive anthropological research, obtained through a staggering range of cultural fragments reflective of the current digital age, Grosse Fatigue is a mind-blowing example of the human tendency towards universal knowledge that was at the conceptual core of the biennial.


In an interview with Kaleidoscope magazine, Gioni singled out Henrot as the artist with whom he had the most intense exchange during the preparation of the Biennale, so the announcement of her upcoming solo exhibition at New York’s New Museum, where he serves as Associate Director, came with little surprise and big expectations.


While we look forward to this overview of her work from the past several years, an ambitious new commission entitled The Pale Fox is set to be presented at London’s Chisenhale Gallery on February 28, comprised of an architectural display system, found objects, drawings, sculptures and digital images.





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