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Camille Henrot

Okay Not Okay (2020)

Inspired by “Jean qui rit, Jean qui pleure” (literally, “Jean who laughs, Jean who cries”), a popular figure with a long tradition in France who embodies the all-too-human ability for sudden and drastic mood swings, “Okay Not Okay” (2020) is a response to the ubiquitous platitude: How are you? One does not usually pose the question out of any real curiosity for another’s well-being; rather, the inquiry functions as a polite, friendly greeting that has become an automatic reflex and thus essentially devoid of sincerity or meaning. For “Texte zur Kunst,” Camille Henrot has created these two gold-plated brass pendants to function as a sort of nonverbal answer to the over-asked question, letting those around you know your mood and indicating whether or not they should risk asking you at all.