Montreal Museum of Modern Art | The Colorful Dictionary of Nelson Henricks

The Montréal Museum of Contemporary Art (MAC) presents two new installations by visual artist Nelson Henriques in its temporary building in Ville Marie. Two works in which we find the unique touch of this arranger of visual and sound frames, which presents us with 15 portraits as a bonus. Screen tests by Andy Warhol. General!

This is Nelson Henriques’ first MAC solo. An invitation from the curator Marc Lanctot, which allowed the Montreal artist to develop two new projects. Nelson Henricks worked for five years to define his work Don’t like A green? (Don’t you like A’s green?).

The title of her installation is a quote from the American artist Joan Mitchell (1925-1992), who evoked synaesthesia, a neurological reflex possessed by Riopelle’s former partner. This phenomenon is reflected, for example, in the combination of a colored letter. Thus, one can systematically perceive the letter B as blue. A poetic and metaphorical language with which artists are often gifted, but also children.

The Montreal artist is interested in this feature because he has also been involved in synaesthetics since his youth. He has already worked on this topic in the past, especially with his doctoral dissertation. “I wanted to approach this problem from another artist’s point of view,” he says. Nelson Henricks, who had read a biography of Joan Mitchell by Patricia Albers and then contacted the Joan Mitchell Foundation in New York, knew which colors corresponded to which letters in the American Expressionist.


Joan Mitchell’s letter-color chart

This recreation of Mitchell’s visual vocabulary becomes a tapestry that covers half of the exhibition hall and two Harlequin-style outfits that Nelson Henricks demonstrates and wears in a 10-minute video. The 59-year-old artist’s signature video reflects the artist’s work in addition to his polished aesthetic, as well as his sense of humor and creativity in general. A filmed performance in which the game is between an artist and an interpreter of his work, such as a curator, art historian, collector, art critic, or gallery owner.


View of the projected video

Because letter-color correspondences are sometimes accompanied by music-color associations in certain synesthetes, that is, they perceive a given color by hearing a certain sound, Nelson Henricks worked with two composers for the video’s soundtrack. , Nick Forrest and Avery Mikolič-O’Rourke. Also with Jackie Gallant for music. Literally immerse yourself in the “music” of Joan Mitchell’s colorful abstraction. Cheerful and pleasant music to listen to.

In the video, the microphone approaches the contact, which turns into colors, sounds…

This installation on Synaesthesia fits perfectly into the smaller of the two temporary MAC rooms. A second, larger room, plunged into semi-darkness, welcomes Heads will roll (heads will roll), a four-screen installation featuring 19 minutes of action by music, dance, singing, fashion and acting artists including Charles Brecard, Justin Gionet, Stuart Jackson, Odile Myrtil and Alex Bergeron. Actions with a musical component – interacting with a drum, playing the guitar or accordion – or a simple gesture performance.


Installation view Heads will roll

Heads will roll it tested very well sitting on the carpet of the room. The work is immersive, moving, with beautiful images, but also very noisy, even noisy. Its intensity comes from Nelson Henriques’ desire to make us see this sometimes aggressive music as a means of expression and affirmation rather than distraction.

Moreover, the use of flags in the video evokes the charge of controversy or rebellion that music can embody in life and history. In fact, as in a synesthetic installation, sound is not only visible, but also literally and figuratively colored. “Like the construction of language,” says Nelson Henricks.


View of the exhibition

The MAC also used the curatorial expertise of Nelson Henricks to give him carte blanche for a new presentation in the video room. He selected 15 projects Screen tests These small pieces of black and white film – portraits – created by Andy Warhol, the king of pop art between 1964 and 1966. Especially Lou Reed, with his twinkling eyes and off-camera gaze, Mario Montez as the sweet blonde, or even Warhol’s close friend Philip Fagan, inappropriately peeling a banana…

It should be noted that Stewart Jackson’s percussion concert will be presented next to the work Heads will rollNov. 30 at 6:00 p.m. And Nelson Henricks, who will have an art residency at Ubisoft in Montreal next year thanks to a deal with Underground Art, he told us: “It’s really interesting to see what I can do there, because it means a video game box have almost limitless creative possibilities, its aspect in research and education is interesting, and they are also artists.

Posted in Art

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *