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image
Nelson Henricks, Life Session, 2016.
Film 16mm, 2 minutes 30 secondes| 16mm film, 2 minutes 30 secondes
Avec l'aimable permission de l'artiste | Courtesy of the artist

Nelson Henricks
From January 28th 2017 to March 25th 2017
Life Session

Nelson Henricks installation takes its title from Falcon Film #615, Life Session (1977). Falcon Entertainment – also known as Falcon Studios – is based in San Francisco, California. Founded by the entrepreneur Chuck Holmes in 1971, Falcon Studios is one of the world’s largest producers of gay pornography. By the early 1980s, it had distinguished itself as a frontrunner at a time when distributing pornography was a criminal offence. Holmes was active in supporting politics at a local and national level, even helping to finance Bill Clinton’s presidential campaign in the 1990s.

Falcon Studios was criticized for their slowness in adopting safe sex practices during the early 1980s. As a consequence, many actors associated with the studio died in the first years of the epidemic. Before dying of AIDS-related illness in 2000, Holmes directed a large portion of his fortune towards philanthropic causes, funding HIV/AIDS outreach programs and other community initiatives. The Charles M. Holmes building at the San Francisco LGBT Community Center is named in his honor.

Via widespread mail order distribution, Falcon Studios contributed to the construction of a gay male aesthetic, a style that originated in San Francisco’s Castro District. Porn offered men living outside major urban centres images of gay lifestyles at a time when representations of this kind were scarce. In this sense, these films were affirmative and enabling in the formation of gay identity and aesthetics. Today, the porn industry rivals Hollywood as an image economy, generating between $2 billion and $4 billion annually worldwide.

Henricks’ Life Session is based on the first two minutes of the original ten-minute Falcon film. With the aid of several assistants, pencil drawings were made of this excerpt: these images became the basis for an animated film. The installation features a 16mm loop of the redrawn animated sequences intercut with the live action footage from the original film, as well as a series of preparatory drawings. Life Session examines the myth of the artist in popular culture via the framework of an artist drawing a film of an artist drawing a model.

COMMUNIQUÉ DE PRESSE (pdf)

PRESS REVIEW
SIROIS-ROULEAU, Dominique (2017). «Jim Holyoak, Book of Nineteen Nocturnes et Nelson Henricks, Life Session». Esse arts + opinions. no 90, printemps été, pp. 94-95.



Artist, author, and curator Nelson Henricks is best knows for his videograms and video installations. Works by Henricks, which have been shown around the world, can be found in the National Gallery of Canada (Ottawa), the MoMA (New York), and the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal. He lives and works in Montreal. He is represented by Paul Petro Contemporary Art, Toronto.