1/3: Factum explores the nuances of individualityfilms short-films
2/3: The interconnectedness of social rituals and artistic practicefilms inspiration process
3/3: How popular culture feeds into her workfilms process
Guest of the Singapore Biennale 2011
Taking a razor blade to popular culture, Candice Breitz’s works critique the variety of gestural habits that we use to define and signify individuals. Her multi-channel installations avoid the common pitfalls of multimedia montage by being selective, purposeful and succinct in their execution.
Highly regarded works like King (A portrait of Michael Jackson) are notable for their complete absence of the subject in question. Advertising to the relevant fan community, Breitz assembles performers willing to sing and enact an album’s worth of material. Moving between individual screens and the moving grid of performers, viewers are left with an uncanny sensation of both presence and absence.
Her work Four Duets takes small segments from performances of sentimental pop songs. Cutting and looping the words “you/me/my/I” and doubling each performer on a second screen, Breitz creates a stuttering, endless regurgitation of pronouns. Since the mid 1990s, she has been using these video editing techniques to break down the language of self-hood - using processes of repetition and mimicry to highlight our figures of speech and bodily habits.
Inframe caught up with her during the installation of her work Factum at the Singapore Biennale, which looks into the relationship between identical siblings through image composition and editing techniques. Candice manipulates interview answers to create a story of similarities, differences and bizarre twin like moments between the siblings. Titled after the Robert Rauschenberg painting of the same name, Factum finds its meaning in the marginal space between two reproductions.