The Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA) is the first museum in the U.S. to present French artist Camille Henrot’s Grosse Fatigue, an exuberant, award-winning 13-minute video on the creation of the world. The video, which won the Silver Lion Award for most promising newcomer at the 2013 Venice Biennale, engages viewers with an energetic array of documentary, exotic, and familiar images accompanied by a bold spoken-word soundtrack. Black Box: Camille Henrot is on view in the BMA’s Contemporary Wing March 5 – June 15, 2014.
Grosse Fatigue was co-written by Henrot with the Paris-based American poet Jacob Bromberg and set to a driving hip-hop beat scored by French DJ and composer Joakim Bouaziz. Many of the images are from the storage vaults of the Smithsonian Institution's Museum of Natural History, where Henrot completed a residency researching artifacts, documents, rituals, and narratives in an attempt to synthesize the massive amount of human knowledge represented. Images of these anthropological objects, often manipulated by colorfully manicured hands, are presented in a rapid succession of desktop computer frames. Surprising juxtapositions occur through layers of images that include the Milky Way, African objects, oranges, marbles, and Energizer batteries. “Grosse Fatigue reaches back to ancient stories while showing how we experience the world in the digital age,” said Curator of Contemporary Art Kristen Hileman. “Henrot captures the frenetic pace at which we seek information today.”
Curated by Hileman, the exhibition is presented in collaboration with The Johns Hopkins University Center for Advanced Media Studies and Maryland Institute College of Art. Henrot will be in residence this spring at the JHU Center for Advanced Media Studies and will present a free screening of her film Psychopompe at the Maryland Institute College of Art on Friday, March 7 at 8 p.m. Combining video projections and a live music performance, Psychpompe creates a stirring interpretation of Mary Shelly’s novel Frankenstein. Henrot’s unique project mixes influences from avant-garde cinema and mythology with fragmented images of contemporary life. Space is limited. For more information, visit www.mica.edu.
Henrot (French, born 1978) has had work exhibited at SculptureCenter in New York, the Institute of Contemporary Art in London, the Centre Pompidou in Paris, and The Museum of Modern Art and Palais de Tokyo in Paris. She was nominated for the prestigious Marcel Duchamp Award in 2010.
The exhibition is organized by Curator of Contemporary Art Kristen Hileman and presented in collaboration with The Johns Hopkins University Center for Advanced Media Studies.