Streaming for the first time, Camille Henrot’s GROSSE FATIGUE—which won the Silver Lion at the 55th Venice Biennale in 2013—is now on view as part of the Virtual Views: Video Lives program at the Museum of Modern Art.
Henrot uses the familiar setting of a computer desktop to narrate the origins of the universe. The video draws on the artist’s experience during a Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship, for which Henrot was granted access to film the collections of the Smithsonian Archives of American Art, the National Museum of Natural History, and the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC. Set to a spoken-word poem written by Henrot in collaboration with the poet Jacob Bromberg, and scored by Joakim Bouaziz, GROSSE FATIGUE draws from scientific theories, religious creation stories, and oral traditions. The text is voiced by multimedia artist Akwetey Orraca Tetteh...
The work features a rapid-fire choreography of pop-up windows with images drawn from a potentially limitless field of references. The swiftly proliferating imagery signals both the speed and lightness of the digital world and, conversely, the exhaustion provoked by overwhelming streams of data. Henrot has explained that the work attempts to confront “the desire to universalize knowledge [that] is accompanied by the conscience I have of this act. As soon as you think you have laid out and circumscribed the entirety of your universe within a single, selfsame landscape, isn’t the only question of any worth, and which relentlessly nags and torments the mind, But what is there beyond the limit?”*
Museum of Modern Art
Camille Henrot, Grosse fatigue, 2013. Images courtesy and © the artist, Silex Films, and Kamel Mennour.