Camille Henrot — The Beaver Moon

When faced with the large-scale light box which functions as the ongoing display module for the In Light Of 25 Years series, artist Camille Henrot was reminded of her training in animation. Although the production of animation has by now gone mainly digital, light box based animation remains an essential part of animation studies.

During her research into the exhibition history of Witte de With, Camille Henrot was drawn to the works of Michelangelo Pistoletto, who used mirrors and photography to create trompe l’oeils where the distinction between physical objects and representations is blurred. Also of inspiration were the video works by Ulrike Ottinger, who had a solo exhibition at Witte de With in 2004. In these videos, a universe of strange characters unfolds, inspired by countercultures and questioning norms and morals.

For her new work, titled The Beaver Moon, Henrot drew two human-like characters and staged them as if involved in domestic activities of maintenance and cleaning, reminding us that exhibition spaces are the homes of artworks, and sometimes of artists as well. The creatures are ambiguous, existing somewhere between the realms of male and female, human and bird. They are reminiscent of the Egyptian god Thoth, who has the body of a man and the head of an ibis and who was the god of writing, science and magic. Thoth was believed to be self-begotten, and was considered the care-keeper of the universe.

In Light Of 25 Years

Presented as part of In Light Of 25 Years, this project celebrates Witte de With’s 25th anniversary. For In Light Of 25 Years, ten artists and curators each create an image-based work that analyzes certain sediments of contemporary art history, departing from Witte de With’s archive.



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