Camille Henrot (b. 1978) received the Silver Lion at last year’s Venice Biennial for her fantastic, fascinating, and razor-sharp video work Grosse Fatigue, which pinpoints our current era’s myriad impressions, collections, and networks. Since the Venice Biennial the art world has been eager to secure a piece of this French artist, who successfully links up everything from the history of the universe to eBay purchases and ancient artefacts to her private universe as it is emerges in her studio.
It gives Kunsthal Charlottenborg great pride to be able to present Camille Henrot’s first solo show in Denmark; an exhibition which includes an all-new, ambitious total installation: The Pale Fox. This new installation builds on the film Grosse Fatigue and its endless web of artefacts, links, and connections. Both works reflect Camille Henrot’s interest in collections and systematised information and knowledge – often based in anthropology and social archaeology – which she then goes on to augment, supplement, and interweave with contemporary googled discoveries and peculiar everyday objects. The sheer detail and diversity of her work make them a unique, overwhelming experience.
Henrot’s penchant for history and stories takes physical form in her work, and at Kunsthal Charlottenborg it even incorporates elements that are specific to Copenhagen: Henrot includes rare objects from the National Museum of Denmark’s unique collection of ethnographic artefacts. She elegantly interweaves the new and the old, the everyday and the unique, noise and silence in an impressive universe where a strikingly architectural shelf structure winds its way through the vividly blue rooms, accommodating all the individual parts that make up the total work. The Pale Fox is an enthralling work with an elegant soundtrack and awe-inspiring spatial devices that evoke a sense of infinity – a work that absolutely must be experienced in person!
The title of Henrot’s exhibition was taken from an anthropological study of the West African Dogon people; a study published by Marcel Griaule and Germaine Dieterlen in 1965. The mythology of the Dogon is believed to incorporate the beliefs and philosophies of several different cultures as well as ideas and concepts from the realms of astronomy, mathematics, and philosophy. Within the meta-narrative the figure of “The Pale Fox” represents disorder and chaos, but also creation; it is the deity behind the emergence of the sun!