Candice Breitz: Never Ending Stories

Candice Breitz: Never Ending Stories

FMAV Fondazione Modena Arti Visive is proud to present Candice Breitz: Never Ending Stories, the largest institutional exhibition of the South African artist in Italy to date, taking place in the Palazzina dei Giardini, and opening at 6 pm on 8 June.

Born in 1972 in Johannesburg and now living in Berlin, Candice Breitz is one of the most internationally renowned artists, having exhibited her video installations in solo and group exhibitions in museums all over the world, and taken part in the most prestigious biennales. In 2017 she represented South Africa at the 57th Venice Biennale.

The exhibition presents three important large-scale installations by Breitz, Love Story (2016), Digest (2020) and Labour (2017, ongoing), reflecting on the crucial role that storytelling plays in structuring lived reality and sustaining the possibility of alternate future realities.

Carrying a cinematic projection as well as over twenty hours of intimate interviews, Love Story asks us to consider the loss of nuance and empathy that occurs when complex stories are condensed and abbreviated to serve increasingly short attention spans. Structured as a seven-channel video installation that is shown across two spaces, the work explores the conditions under which empathy is produced. Evoking the global refugee crisis, the work evolves out of interviews with six individuals who have fled their countries for different reasons.

Digest is an installation consisting of 1,001 painted videocassettes. Each of the sleeves is emblazoned with a single verb excerpted from the title of a film that was in circulation during the era of home video. In each case, the painted verb appropriates the font that was used on the original VHS cover, while the rest of the sleeve is coated in black acrylic abstraction. The verb, ‘to die’, for instance, is sourced from the blockbuster, Die Hard (1988), while ‘to do’ is cited from the VHS cover of Do The Right Thing (1989). The tapes are arranged on shallow wooden shelves, evoking the display aesthetics of video rental stores.

Whereas Love Story and Digest urge us to slow down, Labour instead completely reverses our relationship to time, merging representations of birth and death in defiance of the violent masculinity abounding among political leaders. Set up in the central area of the Palazzina dei Giardini, Labour features six single-channel video installations that are drawn from a work that is still in progress.