Candice Breitz is an influential chronicler of the contradictions that haunt popular discourse. She is best known for a practice that analyses the dynamics of identity formation via multi-channel video installations which are either shot fresh or composed from existing images, video clips and material drawn from mainstream media.
Across her oeuvre, Breitz addresses the entanglement of personal and political struggles, as these are played out in the public sphere. Recently, her work has reflected on a media-saturated culture in which identification with fictional characters and celebrity figures runs parallel to widespread indifference to the plight of those facing real world adversity. Love Story (2016), for example, suspends viewers between a series of documentary interviews with displaced individuals from countries such as Syria and Somalia, and a fast-paced montage in which Hollywood actors Alec Baldwin and Julianne Moore offer slick reperformances of these refugee narratives. TLDR (2017)—a sequel to Love Story—archives the lived experience of a community of sex work activists in Cape Town, staging a musical drama via which to amplify the community’s protests against the stigmatisation and criminalisation of their labour. As she probes the relationship between whiteness, privilege and visibility, Breitz troubles the territory between art and activism, asking whether and how artists living privileged lives can succeed in amplifying calls for social justice and meaningfully representing marginalised communities.
Candice Breitz holds a professorship at the Braunschweig University of Art (since 2007). Solo exhibitions (selection): West Den Haag (2019); Boston Museum of Fine Arts (2018); Kunstmuseum Stuttgart (2016); National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa (2013); Iziko South African National Gallery, Cape Town (2012); Kunsthaus Bregenz (2010); The Power Plant, Toronto (2009); San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (2009); Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk (2008); Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León (2007); Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead (2006); Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2005); Moderna Museet, Stockholm (2004); De Appel Foundation, Amsterdam (2001). Breitz has participated in numerous group exhibitions as well as in the following biennials: Aichi (2019), Sharjah (2019), Cleveland (2018), Dakar (2014), Singapore (2011), Gothenborg (2009), New Orleans (2008), Venice (2005), Gwangju (2000), Taipei (2000), Istanbul (1999), São Paulo (1998) and Johannesburg (1997). In 2017, she represented South Africa at the 57th Venice Biennale.