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Havana Biennial 2019: Constructing the Possible Ocula Report Havana Biennial 2019: Constructing the Possible 17 Apr 2019 : Federica Bueti for Ocula

I first visited Havana in November 2016, a few days after Fidel Castro died, and just under a year before Hurricane Irma hit Cuba in September 2017. Since then, much has changed, including the hand-painted signs that punctuate the journey from the airport to the city centre, which today do not celebrate the revolution so much as the 'Unidad y...

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Andrew Stahl and Guo Xiaohui Ocula Conversation Andrew Stahl and Guo Xiaohui

The exhibition Beyond Boundaries at Somerset House in London (12 March–2 April 2019) marked the historic contributions of the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing (CAFA) and the Slade School of Fine Art, University College London, on the occasion of their 100th and 150th anniversaries, respectively. Spread across several rooms of Somerset House's...

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The National 2019: New Australian Art Ocula Report The National 2019: New Australian Art 13 Apr 2019 : Elyse Goldfinch for Ocula

The National 2019: New Australian Art features work by 70 contemporary Australia-based artists split across three venues: the Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW), Carriageworks, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) (29 March–21 July 2019), as curated by Isobel Parker Philip, curator of photographs at AGNSW; Daniel Mudie Cunningham,...

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Candice Breitz

b. 1972, South Africa

Through her pointed and deftly edited video installations, Candice Breitz looks at the stereotypes and visual conventions in film and popular culture. These videos often explore the relationship between the god-like presence of pop stars and actors, and their awestruck fans.

For her acclaimed two-part video installation Mother and Father (2005), Breitz extracted segments of mothers and fathers from Hollywood films such as Kramer vs Kramer, Mommie Dearest, and Postcards From the Edge. By isolating tiny episodes of dialogue, and presenting them as if there was a single narrative thread running through their performances, she transformed their behaviour into a chorus of parental breakdown. Breitz has also examined the status of pop stars in works such as Queen (A Portrait of Madonna) (2005), King (A Portrait of Michael Jackson) (2005) and Legend (A Portrait of Bob Marley) (2005). In these works, Breitz gathered fans by posting advertisements in newspapers and fan websites, and then they were asked to sing their way through a key album. Shot in screen-test mode and presented as a choral grid over a wall of TV screens, these installations are both compelling and toe-curlingly difficult to watch, affectionate glimpses into the power structures inherent in mass media and its passionate consumers.

Breitz’s interest in the alternating modes of desire and repulsion that shift between lovers, fans and celebrities is also present in Factum, which looks at the intensity of these forces between identical twins. Each Factum is presented as a diptych (and one triptych), with each twin or triplet beside his or her sibling, dressed almost identically and in the same setting. Through candid, often emotional responses, they reveal the strangeness, joys and difficulties of living one's life in parallel to someone who shares your exact genetic code. While the initial interview allowed each twin or triplet to tell his or her own story unencumbered by the presence of a sibling, Breitz complicates this relationship in the finished work by introducing the other twin as an interlocutor who offers a different perspective, with the artist also implicitly present as a third 'author' to the biographies. Through this format, Breitz underlines how any biography becomes a negotiation between various relationships, circumstances and desires - not to mention one's genetic heritage.

Source: White Cube

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Featured Artworks

Profile by Candice Breitz contemporary artwork Candice BreitzProfile Single channel video
Goodman Gallery
Extra #8 by Candice Breitz contemporary artwork Candice BreitzExtra #8, 2011 Chromogenic print
56 x 84 cm
Goodman Gallery

Represented By

In Ocula Magazine

Doryun Chong Ocula Conversation Doryun Chong Chief Curator, M+, Hong Kong

Doryun Chong is Chief Curator at M+, Hong Kong’s super museum for visual culture. Prior to joining M+, Chong was Associate Curator of Painting and Sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York, and prior to that, he was a curator in the visual arts department at Minneapolis’ Walker Art Center from 2003 to 2009. At MoMA,...

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Doryun Chong Ocula Conversation Doryun Chong Chief Curator, M+, Hong Kong

Doryun Chong is Chief Curator at M+, Hong Kong’s super museum for visual culture. Prior to joining M+, Chong was Associate Curator of Painting and Sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York, and prior to that, he was a curator in the visual arts department at Minneapolis’ Walker Art Center from 2003 to 2009. At MoMA,...

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In Related Press

SIX STORIES, TWICE RETOLD Related Press SIX STORIES, TWICE RETOLD Interview Magazine : 25 May 2017

At the 57th Venice Biennale's South African Pavilion, Candice Breitz offers a set of stories, ones we're perhaps less inclined to listen to than we'd readily admit. The tales belong to six refugees whom Breitz interviewed on camera, and are delivered by the subjects themselves as well as through a retelling by Alec Baldwin and Julianne Moore. When...

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Giardini Pavilion Highlights from the 57th Venice Biennale Related Press Giardini Pavilion Highlights from the 57th Venice Biennale Whitewall : 11 May 2017

JAPANESE PAVILION, Takahiro Iwasaki: Turned Upside Down, It's a ForestTakahiro Iwasaki has created a multifaceted spatial experience of viewing the Itsukushima Shrine located in Hiroshima, where the artist was born, raised, and continues to work. Viewers can see the site from the perspective of a bird, insect, or fish, skewing the perception of...

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Breitz critiques film industry in video art Related Press Breitz critiques film industry in video art The Boston Globe : 13 January 2015

“Will there be a day when I wake up completely hollow and empty?” a child ponders.In one portion of Candice Breitz’s charged video installation The Woods, at the Peabody Essex Museum, six young Indians appear on six screens, each perched on a chair in a hotel room/film set, dropping big thoughts about life and the...

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Art Space Germany Related Press Art Space Germany CCTV / 29 November 2014 : 1 December 2014

Beijing is also playing host to an event that looks to create bridges of understanding through the fusion of cultures. An exhibition featuring German contemporary art has kicked off in the Chinese capital. What makes this exhibit special is that all the works selected and brought to China are by foreign artists living in Germany. Titled "Art...

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