TIME WILL HAVE PASSED. LE TEMPS AURA PASSÉ.
Curated Steve Reinke
In a practice that spans more than 20 years, Nelson Henricks has produced both single channel video works and video installations, some of which exist in both modes of presentation. When Henricks moved to Montreal from Alberta in 1991 he was already well known for his single channel works. While studying film at Concordia he developed a series of works that were hybrids of film and video and in which French and English were combined. Henricks has explored several problematics through works that can be densely edited, with image, text, sound and voice each having a separate, if precisely and densely interwoven, existence while others deploy editing sparingly, and harken back to the earliest days of video art. They are the quandaries of self-portraiture, the impossible heaviness of writing and speech and literature, the passing of time and physical embodiment, and the self-consciousness of art-making within the discourses of contemporary post-conceptual practices.
Beginning in the early 2000’s, Henricks developed new strategies for video installation, particularly in relation to montage. He began to assemble, or compose, images and poetically condensed texts and phrases with an eye/ear to rhythm and counterpoint. Again and again in Henricks’ work, the impossibility of linguistic communication — of reading and writing — is resolved by a turn away from language. But this turn away from linguistic representation does not resolve itself in the image. Instead, it finds solace in audio, whether as a simple hum or drone, or a percussive banging. Rhythm is primary in Henricks’ work, and it is the rhythm of becoming animal, of turning away from both linguistic and pictorial signification, turning away from consciousness itself to pure, unmediated experience.
An illustrated book accompanying the exhibition includes an essay by Steve Reinke, trancripts of Henricks’ videos, and texts written by the artist. Works in included in the exhibition: Shimmer (1995), Crush (1997), Time Passes (1998), Handy Man (1999), Fuzzy Face (2001), My Heart the Optometrist (2001), Happy Hour (2002), Substance (2003), Map of the City (2006) and Unwriting (2010).