The Goodman Gallery

Candice Breitz

22 Feb - 30 Mar 2013

© Candice Breitz
The Rehearsal, 2012
Six-Channel Installation
The Woods
23 February - 30 March 2013

In her first solo show at Goodman Gallery Johannesburg, Candice Breitz will present The Woods (2012), a trilogy of video installations that takes a close look at the world of child performers and the performance of childhood in order to probe the dreams and promises embedded in mainstream cinema. This new body of work is being shown for the second time internationally after having its debut at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image in Melbourne in late 2012. Consistent with Breitz’s interest in the role that mimicry plays in the forging of selfhood, and with her ongoing analysis of the circular relationship between real life and reel life, The Woods traverses three continents to explore the rituals and conventions governing the on-camera and off-camera personae of professional child actors, as well as adult actors who have become famous playing child roles. The trilogy brings together footage shot in Los Angeles, Mumbai and Lagos, seeking to observe and grasp the aspirational logic that is shared by Hollywood, Bollywood and Nollywood.
Engaging actors and crews whose creative labour would ordinarily be subsumed into these three giant popular cinema industries, the three chapters of The Woods bring a behind-the-scenes eye to industries that typically prefer to mask their inner workings. As suggested by their titles – The Audition, The Rehearsal and The Interview – in each of the three installations making up The Woods, a particular show business ritual becomes the locus of meaning through which to more broadly reflect upon and decode the machinery of mainstream entertainment.

The Woods marks the first time that Breitz has cast professional actors – in the past, she has preferred to work with amateur casts. In the case of all three works in the trilogy, the actors were left to make their own choices when it came to self-presentation. All actors appear in clothes and accessories from their own wardrobes and were invited to liberally interpret their roles.

The Woods is a new work that has been co-commissioned by ACMI (Melbourne) and the Peabody Essex Museum (Salem, Massachusetts).

Candice Breitz was born in Johannesburg in 1972. She has lived and worked in Berlin since 2002. She holds degrees from the University of the Witwatersrand (Johannesburg), the University of Chicago and Columbia University (New York). She has participated in the Whitney Museum’s Independent Studio Program and ran the Palais de Tokyo’s Le Pavillon residency as a visiting artist during the year 2005-2006. She has been a tenured professor at the Braunschweig University of Art since 2007. In recent years, solo exhibitions of Breitz’s work have been hosted by museums and galleries such as the Palais de Tokyo (Paris), De Appel (Amsterdam), Moderna Museet (Stockholm), Castello di Rivoli (Turin), White Cube (London), San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Standard Bank Gallery (Johannesburg) and South African National Gallery (Cape Town). Breitz has participated in biennales in Johannesburg (1997), São Paulo (1998), Istanbul (1999), Taipei (2000), Kwangju (2000), Tirana (2001), Venice (2005), New Orleans (2008) and Singapore (2011). Selected group exhibitions include New Frontier (Sundance Film Festival, 2009), The Cinema Effect (Hirshhorn Museum + Sculpture Garden, 2008), Made in Germany (Kunstverein Hannover, 2007), Superstars (Kunsthalle Wien, 2005) and Remix: Contemporary Art and Pop (Tate Liverpool, 2002). Breitz’s work has been acquired by museums including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and the Museum of Modern Art (both in New York), the National Gallery of Canada (Ottawa), Fonds national d’art contemporain (France), Castello di Rivoli (Turin), Hamburger Kunsthalle (Hamburg), Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean (Luxembourg), Kunstmuseum Lichtenstein (Vaduz), Museum of Old and New Art (Tasmania), Queensland Art Gallery (Brisbane), San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Art Gallery of Ontario (Toronto), Museum of Fine Arts (Boston) and Museo nazionale delle arti del XXI secolo (Rome).

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