Critics’ Picks

Camille Henrot, The Pale Fox, 2014, aluminium, bronze, prints, drawings, audio, found objects. Installation view, 2015.

Camille Henrot, The Pale Fox, 2014, aluminium, bronze, prints, drawings, audio, found objects. Installation view, 2015.

Berlin

Camille Henrot

KÖNIG GALERIE | St. Agnes
Alexandrinenstrasse 118-121 St. Agnes
September 5–November 1, 2015

After stops in Copenhagen, Paris, and Münster, Camille Henrot’s installation The Pale Fox, 2014, is now on view in Berlin. The deep, stratospheric blue of the four walls and the carpet, reminiscent of Yves Klein’s monochromes, brings to mind a blue-box television studio. The objects displayed in this setup range from photographs and watercolors, bronze sculptures and books, magazines and newspapers, to telephones and tablet screens. Placed on modern design shelves that run through the whole installation in a sort of timeline, the images and objects reference the evolution of nature as well as that of technology, art, and culture, suturing science, mythologies, and religions to a new-age eschatology.

Often described in terms of postdigital archival art, the installation neither presents an alternative history to, nor engages the chaos, entropy, and disorder that seems to be repressed by, Western tradition, fictions, and history. Instead, it represents a strongly mythopoetic and subjective perspective that derives from our objective incapability to comprehend the weight of knowledge piled up and bureaucratically ordered in our collective archives. For despite the progressing development of science and technology, individually and immediately we do not necessarily possess, as Max Weber once noted, a greater knowledge of the conditions of life than the generations who lived thousands of years before us. We are still limited by our common finitude, and hence incapable of processing the seemingly unlimited data of the real. Even the work’s title, referring to the mythology of the West African Dogon people, evokes the hunted and restless pale fox, which stands in for the act of creation as well as for the chaos that disrupts its divine harmony.