Buck Ellison's Henry, Henry, Henry, 2019

Buck Ellison
Henry, Henry, Henry, 2019

Media Arts

Balice Hertling

In a time when there are more blended families than nuclear ones — especially in the United States — and where same-sex marriage has been legalized in the whole country since 2015, Ellison points out the gap between reality and these simulacrum projections of happiness. Henry, Henry, Henry (2019), the major work in the show, is Ellison’s first film. Divided into three parts, a scenario is replayed with small variations each time, provoking a disruptive sense of déjà vu. Actors look slightly different; their outfits switch between a long-sleeve shirt and a Ralph Lauren polo. And here, too, the length, structure, and even cheerful musical theme can be compared to that of a commercial. The progression of an idealized day sets a narrative in which a father interacts with his son, teaching him violin, playing baseball with him, and even smoking a joint, living up to the cool dad archetype. In the background of these stereotypical images, we can read watermarks on how to prepare a boy to live with a sophisticated education and values such as leadership or competitive spirit. The construction of the film, which suggests that the other parent is behind the camera, gives way to more diversity; but we don’t know whether it is a second dad or a mother, since he or she remains hidden. flash---art.com/2019/12/buck-ellison-balice-hertl…

In a time when there are more blended families than nuclear ones — especially in the United States — and where same-sex marriage has been legalized in the whole country since 2015, Ellison points out… more

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