Henrik Håkansson: The End (4 stars)

Video installation centres around death of several flies

Henrik Håkansson: The End

Its body cracks under the whip. Wings tear apart, legs fall open, torso flinching, and its head flops lifeless to one side. The momentous instant of the death of the fly is elongated, scored and played back on a grand scale. Then another appears. The fly sits completely still. Being forced to look at the dirty creature brings on a shiver of repulsion. But we know what comes next: the impact of the swat breaks its back and death comes as a relief, only to be followed by sympathy in the moment of execution.

Swedish artist Henrik Håkansson understands the performative element that gives life to music and how sound gives life to cinema. His multi channel video installation centres around a 12-minute film of the death of several flies. The film’s score was played live in the gallery space on the opening night when viewers were able to see the warm up, as well as the stops and restarts under the conductor’s baton. Håkansson masters the truthful ambiguity of science analysed through different lenses, escaping a single viewpoint.

Modern Institute, Glasgow, until Fri 23 Dec

Henrik Håkansson: The End

  • 4 stars

Solo show from the experimental, contemporary Swedish artist, featuring a film about the life cycle of a fly.


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