Camille Henrot, the French-born, New York City-based contemporary artist, will be celebrated in an Australian-first survey of works that take a playful and inventive approach to addressing life’s big questions, in May 2020.
Featuring key works created by the artist over the past decade, Camille Henrot: Play Your Part will include the immersive room-scale installation The Pale Fox 2014, a companion piece to Henrot’s award-winning film Grosse Fatigue 2013, for which she won the Silver Lion at the 55th Venice Biennale. Grosse Fatigue attempted to tell the story of the universe whereas The Pale Fox is a meditation on our shared desire to understand the world intimately through the objects that surround us. Characterised by what Henrot has called a ‘cataloguing psychosis’, this vast installation features en masse more than 500 objects encompassing photographs, sculptures, books and drawings, including objects made by the artist as well as collected via eBay.
The exhibition features recent watercolours that explore aspects of human psychology, and the artist’s Interphones series of telephone sculptures that playfully draw attention to our relationship to authority and technology. In these interactive works, Henrot invites visitors to pick up a customised telephone and respond to prompts such as ‘Would you ever have sex at work? Is Google right about you? Are you gluten-free? Press control for yes. Enter for no.’
Born in Paris in 1978, Henrot works across diverse media including sculpture, installation, film and watercolour, drawing upon wide-ranging fields such as cultural anthropology, museology, religion, literature, psychoanalysis, social media analysis, self-help, and online second-hand marketplaces, to reconsider established systems of knowledge. Henrot’s work has been the focus of solo exhibitions at Chisenhale Gallery, London; Fondazione Memmo, Rome; Schinkel Pavilion, Berlin; New Orleans Museum of Art; Musée du Jeu de Paume, Paris; and the New Museum, New York; and more recently at the Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery in Tokyo, Japan.
A major monograph on the artist with contributions by a wide range of authors will be published by the NGV on the occasion of the exhibition.