It’s not often, in the saturated world of post-irony-neo-abstract-digital-media that a new player enters the arena and changes the game so dramatically. Breaking ancient rules, pioneering new techniques and cerebrally disfiguring anyone with the audacity to question his validity from a self-imposed moral high ground – Henry Curchod is repositioning the frontline of what is possible and indeed, conceivable, in the realms of video art. With his latest work: JUICEBOX, a Matisseian colour-fuelled clash of the Titans, Curchod has taken a traditional storytelling medium and told a traditional story. An allegorical exploration into the unlikeliness of artificial flight. Does man have a right to fly? Curchod doesn’t think so, and in these five minutes of artful damnation, he singlehandedly proves 20,000 feet in the air is no place for conventional colour theory and bad acting.
What do planes represent? Freedom? Technological progress? Extravagance? The permission to shower Social Media with photos of yourself living it up whilst forgetting how to live at all? None of the above? All of the below? Below has never seemed so high in this action-packed thrill ride. Great art should pose questions, divide the weight of existence amongst its viewers and provide context for the receiver to decide, on their own, who they are, what they desire and what they want to take responsibility for in their own existences.
And it is this responsibility that Curchod grasps so intimately and with such tenderness. High fidelity Lo-Fi; the hypnotic combination of house music and aerial tragedy; a Shakespearean pepper-shaker seasoning the injustice of carry-on travel restrictions. His work has been described as “Kenny G meets Ali G meets G funk”, and Curchod is taking it to a whole new level, regulating the speculators of our generation – imposing pride and conviction on a new subset of humanity that has mistaken social incest for a new friend request.
What is it about blocks of primary colour arbitrarily injected into bad 90’s films that is so arousing? How has Curchod created this sense of longing with nothing more than a naive understanding of video editing software and easily attainable stock footage? Veiled behind an iron curtain of hypocrisy, this is the ‘wax on wax off’ for a new generation of genius morons. Does nothing really matter? Is there a multiverse? Everything we’ll ever need to know is here, nothing we don’t need to know is present. Curchod has attempted to condense and assimilate the entire catalogue of human history, art, science, mathematics, theology and culture into a precise and astute five minutes of terrified pleasure. Rendering philosophers irrelevant and exposing the lack of precision in poetry, Curchod has set out to achieve what no man or woman before him could, and in doing so has unveiled the truth between comedy and tragedy. Not since the second coming of Jesus onto his stomach in the throws of guilty ecstasy has the world seen an ejaculation of expression as profound as JUICEBOX.
Welcome to the depraved new world and the dawn of a new error – a calculated mistake, where anything is possible.
Video: Henry Curchod.