Candice Breitz: Mother and Father

Paperback
The art of the up-and-coming South African artist Candice Breitz draws on contemporary mass culture, devising new systems for understanding reality. Published in association with the Castello di Rivoli, this book documents Breitz's new work Mother + Father . Exploding the terrain of representation, Candice Breitz employs a variety of darkly humorous and often disturbing tactics to strike out at stereotypes and visual conventions as presented and accepted in the media and popular culture. Breitz appropriates photographs and visual fragments and recontextualises these in bold, sometimes tasteless-seeming images, which radically challenge conventional wisdom and question currently accepted assumptions. Considering herself a symptom of her own time, Breitz has articulated her artistic practice by acting directly inside pop culture, opening up, unhinging, and fragmenting its apparent solidity, and devising a sort of creative intervention that transforms her from mute spectator into an active, critical voice. Conceived specifically for Castello di Rivoli, Mother + Father , 2005, represents one of the artist's most complex projects to date. The work is developed in two distinct installations. The protagonists in the first installation, entitled Mother , are Hollywood actresses Faye Dunaway, Susan Sarandon, Meryl Streep, Diane Keaton, Julia Roberts, and Shirley MacLaine. In Father the six father figures have the well-known faces of actors who include Tony Danza, Dustin Hoffman, Harvey Keitel, Steve Martin, Donald Sutherland, and Jon Voight. Suspended in a void made up only of words, facial expressions, and body language, the new interactions of these actors and actresses give rise to the theatrical space of Breitz's work. Digital simulacra, the mothers and fathers devised by the artist are hostages, trapped within a specific emotional repertoire that questions the canons according to which the media - television and Hollywood - have taken over the role of parenting, training the public to experience, through the screen, circumstances that, instead, pertain to real life. Candice Breitz has participated in numerous exhibitions including Re-animations, Modern Art Museum, Oxford, Remix: Contemporary Art and Pop, Tate Liverpool. She has been invited to participate in the exhibition Experience of Art at this year's Venice Biennale.