The work of artist Louis Henderson is about anti-colonial counter-narratives, whose filmic form is developed in a complex manner from out of their own contradictions while also subtly reflecting back on these. Docu-fiction meets visual poetry meets ghost stories than span centuries and continents. In Lettres du Voyant, set in Ghana, a “seer” describes his vision of reversed colonial history in lyric form. Between plundered gold mines, heaps of trashed electrical goods, and urban zones of survival, a virtual hybrid of internet magic and voodoo materialism emerges, and with it the seeds of a possible future. The Sea is History enriches a search for a virtual next world after the colonial with maritime and animistic elements. Starting with a poem by author Derek Walcott, the film artfully breaks open various levels of the violent conquest of Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Traces of the “creole” interdependence of yesterday and today, and the dead and the living, free up a view of a mythically charged underwater world in which there sleeps the force of a geopolitical reset. We can hear the sound of a “history that is now finally beginning.”
Lettres du Voyant, 2013, 40 min
The Sea is History, 2016, 28 min
Followed by a conversation between Louis Henderson and Christian Höller (in English)
Louis Henderson, currently residing in the UK and France, is a filmmaker who is trying to find new ways of working with people to address and question our current global condition defined by racist capitalism and ever-present histories of the European colonial project. The working method is archeological. Exhibitions/Festivals (selection): Rotterdam International Film Festival; The Centre Pompidou, Paris; Tate Britain, London.
Christian Höller is editor and co-publisher of the magazine springerin – Hefte für Gegenwartskunst.