Monday, September 22, 2008

Candice Breitz

Breitz's approach to her integration into a society she presumed to share very little with may be simple, even logical, but it also opens the floodgates to a lot of engaging areas of thought. She brings a whole new credibility to popular culture, often denounced as shallow and insignificant, exploring its role in the shared collective of the most recent generations. Taking it even a step further, her Babel series makes reference to and ties pop culture in with historic, anthropologic and universal themes. The stripping down of popular early-90s music videos into a 'vocabulary of primitive sounds' was truly innovative, especially paired with the use of the audience as their own mixing board (moving between and around the sound channels).

Her interpretation of pop culture as a sort of parent figure, I thought, was particularly perceptive. The panel of mothers and fathers was a really effective reflexive exercise in dissecting exactly what kind of example we have all inadvertently taken from our surrogate TV families. Breitz could have steered her selection of footage to a number of different ends, but she chose to showcase a sort of 'best of' of the dysfunctional, but nonetheless legendary parental figures of cinema. The audience is left with the daunting realization that they may need years of therapy to recover from a second childhood previous unacknowledged.

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