artist / participant
PinchukArtCentre has the honour to present a solo exhibition of Candice Breitz. The first show of the South African artist in the Eastern Europe entitled Candice Breitz: You+I will be open from February 12 till April 17, 2011 in the PinchukArtCentre (Kiev, Ukraine) from Tuesday through Sunday. The admission is free.
With this exhibition the PinchukArtCentre for the first time brings together a series of major composite portraits, including iconic works such as Working Class Hero (A Portrait of John Lennon), King (A Portrait of Michael Jackson) and Queen (A Portrait of Madonna). Collectively these video portraits – along with the Monuments series (five large-scale photographic group portraits of communities of music fans) – take an intense look at the web of identifications that structures the relationship between stars and their fans.
Factum Tang on the other hand explores the fragility of individuality via a three-channel installation that weaves together the self-narrations of Ukrainian-Chinese triplets based in Edmonton, Canada. As each of the identical triplets answers the same set of interview questions, the similarities and differences that emerge in their answers chart the sisters’ intricate three-way battle for individual being.
A new work that Breitz is producing especially for the PinchukArtCentre will evolve over the course of the exhibition. Tentatively titled Portrait of an Artist, it initiated an exchange of portraits between Breitz and Ukraine-based artists. All local artists and creative people have been invited to contribute a portrait of Breitz made in any style, medium or scale to a larger composite installation, and will ultimately receive a portrait of themselves back from Breitz to complete the exchange. All portraits of Breitz submitted by local artists will be exhibited at the PinchukArtCentre. During the first two months of the exhibition, newly submitted portraits will be added to the installation every week, gradually accumulating into a larger piece that Breitz has described as a self-portrait.
Towards the end of the exhibition, Breitz will return to Kiev to shoot video portraits of the contributing artists. This second half of the project will be installed at the art centre during the final weeks of the exhibition.
Candice Breitz: “The work will on the one hand be a group self-portrait, and on the other an attempt to explore a range of artistic approaches to portraiture that are current in Ukraine. Self portraiture is conventionally inward looking – the implication is that the artist has privileged access to herself and a unique ability to express her own essence. This notion will be turned inside out for the Kiev self-portrait: rather than attempting to provide you with an image of who I think I am, I am inviting a community of strangers to collectively portray me”.
Central to the multi-channel video installations for which Breitz is best known, is the question of how an individual becomes him- or herself in relation to a larger community, be it the immediate community that one encounters in family, or the real and imagined communities that are increasingly forged into being via the undeniable influence of mainstream media such as television, cinema and popular music. Multi-channel works made by Breitz over the last decade have explored and unpicked processes of identification and emulation as these manifest themselves within the relationship between the self and intimate others (Factum, Mother + Father, Him + Her), but also processes that have come to structure relationships within the realm of consumer culture. At the heart of Breitz’s work, lies an interest in the somewhat mysterious ways in which the subject finds his or her way into selfhood. Her many obsessive returns to the genre of portraiture in recent years suggest both the impossibility of finitely coming to understand how it is that we become who we are, and the necessity to nevertheless keep on trying.
Solo exhibition of the South African artist Candice Breitz