In the beginning there was no earth, no water – nothing. There was a single hill called Nunne Chaha.
In the beginning everything was dead.
In the beginning there was nothing; nothing at all. No light, no life, no movement no breath.
In the beginning there was an immense unit of energy.
In the beginning there was nothing but shadow and only darkness and water and the great god Bumba.
In the beginning were quantum fluctuations.
These are some of the lyrics of Camille Henrot’s video “Grosse Fatigue” (2013) that refelects Camille Henrot’s own vision of the creation of universe.
In “Grosse Fatigue”, Camille Henrot (French, b. 1978) establishes a large structure where collected images from the Smithosonian Institution in Washington, (Museum of Natural History, Archives of American Art, and the National Air and Space Museum) and her own footage, alternate in browser windows in a non logical narration.
This frenetic rhythm is accompanied by the strong presence of a desperate male voice that performs with spoken word style the text that Camille Henrot and Jacob Bromberg, a poet and editor for British Journal, wrote together. This sort of hip hop preacher explores the history of myth, science, religion and human imagery.
Camille Henrot produces studio footage using a seductive Eve’s manicured hands that act in pantone color scenes, giving a sense of a contemporary and digital scenario. This footage alternates with the Smithsonian images of dissected animals, lost civilizations and space artifacts, and historical images collected by Henrot.
The internet seems to be the browser of human destiny that combines all the images in a single story of ethical concerns and human responsibilities. “Grosse Fatigue” demonstrates Camille Henrot’s anthropological interest through the problems that it encounters and the questions it leaves unresolved.
Here is an interesting interview with Camile Henrot where you can also wacth extracts from the video Grosse Fatigue.