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Camille Henrot’s Venice Biennale Hit Coming to Canada

The film Grosse Fatigue by French artist Camille Henrot—a rollicking, much-praised 21st-century tour through history, evolution and mythology that won Henrot the Silver Lion for most promising younger artist at the Venice Biennale this year—is having its North American debut at next month’s Toronto International Film Festival.

Grosse Fatigue will be part of the festival’s just-released Future Projections program, which focuses on films shown in a gallery setting. Specifically, Grosse Fatigue will be shown at the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art during the festival’s 10-day run from September 5 to 15.

“We feel the nature of the work lends itself really well to a festival showing hundreds of movies,” says TIFF programmer Noah Cowan. “We [at TIFF] are often accused of being encyclopedic ourselves, so it seems right to be connecting with a film that has that tendency as well.”

In Henrot’s 13-minute film, computer-desktop windows open and close to reveal symbolic images of eggs and plants as well as real-life footage from the Smithsonian Institution and diverse other sources. (Even Ikea Monkey makes an appearance.) Throughout, a slam-poetry-style narration blends ancient creation myths with scientific big-bang facts.

Cowan, like thousands of others, saw the work this summer at the Venice Biennale’s big thematic exhibition “The Encyclopedic Palace,” which continues to November 24.

Grosse Fatigue brings a fresh new energy to the concept of the encyclopedia and of the compendium,” Cowan says. “It confirms both our anxiety about and addiction to the overwhelming amount of information in our lives. The work feels very contemporary and is a seductive mirror on our own society.”

Henrot will be present at the festival for the North American premiere, Cowan says. Born in 1978, Henrot was a finalist for the 2010 Marcel Duchamp Award, and in 2012 she took part in La Triennale at the Palais de Tokyo.

Another notable aspect of Future Projections this year is the exhibition “David Cronenberg: Transformation,” taking place at MOCCA from September 5 to December 29. The exhibition presents new Cronenberg-related works by six international and Canadian contemporary artists, including Jeremy Shaw, Candice Breitz and Marcel Dzama.

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