“Elephant Child” is a natural extension of the artistic practice of New York-based French artist Camille Henrot. Originated during an Artist Research Fellowship at the Smithsonian Institution, which laid the groundwork for her 2013 video “Grosse Fatigue” and the subsequent installation “The Pale Fox” (2014–15), the book represents the culmination of a long-term inquiry into the human effort to make the universe comprehensible. The book contains an original text by Henrot (written with Clara Meister and Michael Connor), documentation, sketches, and research materials. An interview between Henrot and social anthropologist Monique Jeudy-Ballini offers insight into Henrot’s characteristic approach to knowledge production and organization. Ultimately, the book is an object of high universalist ambition—devoid of authority, creating instead a vivid prismatic image of the realm of thought.
Published by Inventory Press, Project Projects worked in close collaboration with the artist to develop and realize this project. The book’s highly readable yet complex layout integrates a primary text, video stills and installation photography, and a broad range of reference texts and images.