Exhibition - Candice Breitz: The Character
Video and photographic artist Candice Breitz opens her exhibition Candice Breitz: The Character in ACMI
WHEN: 06/12/2012 to 11/03/2013
The internationally renowned video and photographic artist Candice Breitz will visit Melbourne to open her exhibition Candice Breitz: The Character. Opening to the public on 6 December 2012, it will be a free exhibition that explores the construction of identity, individuality, popular and celebrity culture through a suite of large-scale installations.
While in Melbourne, Ms Breitz will take part in the ever popular In Conversation series on 6 December, hosted by art academic and commentator Daniel Palmer. The discussion aims to provide context and insight into her large-scale installations and unique methodologies. On 7 December, Ms Breitz will also join our creative workshop for 13 – 20 year olds, Intermix, looking at what it takes to be a renowned moving image artist.
One of Breitz’s best known pieces King (A Portrait of Michael Jackson) (2005) is included in the exhibition. The artist advertised to find Jackson fans, and then invited 16 of the most ardent respondents to sing their way through the entire Thriller album. Displayed on 16 screens installed side by side, these fans “beat it”, deny fatherhood (Billie Jean) and are all guilty of “startin’ somethin’”. Michael Jackson himself is nowhere to be seen - the ‘portrait’ that emerges is a fascinatingly ambiguous meditation on the power of a cultural icon, created by individuals who all identify with the King of Pop, but express their fascination in different ways. For some it’s imitation: a red leather jacket, a single white glove, a tilted hat, a certain dance move; for others it’s less obvious - one woman belly-dances through every track - while others seem lost in a private reverie.
Referencing Robert Rauschenberg’s 1957 works Factum I and Factum II whereby two nearly identical paintings host subtle differences that can only be found on close inspection, Breitz personifies this notion in her piece Factum (2009). Lengthy interviews with several sets of identical twins are edited and the footage shown side by side, sibling next to sibling. Individual stories are told and differences appear in speech, style and body language from what at face value appear to be the same person. The constant tension between sameness and difference is captivating.
Breitz also produced The Character (2011). Cut from a series of interviews with school students about a recent film they had watched, the children talked about the narrative and plight of the child characters in the films. Editing and intertwining the interviews differences emerge in the storytelling and the story told; contradictions emerge. The Character serves to emphasise the different ways in which the children frame their experience of viewing films and thinking about them afterwards.
Alongside these works will be Becoming (2003), re-enactments by Breitz of film scenes of leading ladies such as Drew Barrymore, Julia Roberts and Cameron Diaz. In Him Her (1968-2008), Breitz uses existing footage from films starring Meryl Streep and Jack Nicholson. Across seven screens each, the scenes and thoughts jostle for prominence and seem to speak to each other piecing together vignettes that suggest the strong internal dialogue that occurs in the mind of a single individual.
Breitz edits, mashes and reinterprets the iconic bringing a questioning intelligence to the artificial worlds portrayed in popular culture through film, music and celebrity. “If we have no choice but to consume what the mass media feeds us, then we must insist on the right to chew up, process and regurgitate mass-media forms so that they might service us rather than merely milking us.” (Breitz; ID Magazine 2006)
Opening at ACMI on 6 December 2012 through to 11 March 2013, Candice Breitz: The Character is an exhibition that will entertain, challenge and make you look at the world of celebrity, popular culture and identity in a new light.
About Candice Breitz
Breitz began exhibiting in the mid-1990s and over the past ten years has shot to international prominence. Her works have been exhibited widely in group and solo shows internationally – including at the Johannesburg, São Paulo, Istanbul, Kwangju, Taipei and Venice Biennales. She has held solo exhibitions at Kunsthaus Bregenz, Austria (2010), Pinchuk Art Center, Kyiv (2011), San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, USA (2009), De Appel Foundation, Amsterdam (2001), Moderna Museet, Stockholm (2004), Modern Art Oxford (2003), Castello di Rivoli, Turin (2005), Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2005), Lousiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark (2008), Temporare Kunsthalle, Berlin (2008) and the Collection Lambert in Avignon, France (2008). In 2007 Breitz was awarded the Prince Pierre of Monaco Foundation’s 41st International Prize for Contemporary Art for emerging artists.
Candice Breitz is represented by White Cube, London; Kaufmann Repetto, Milan and Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg.