Sept 14, 2023 – Dec 4, 2023
Whiteface by Candice Breitz serves as a powerful commentary on issues of race, representation, and performative identity – it will be one of the three inaugural exhibitions at Fotografiska Berlin.
This exhibition critically examines the workings of white supremacy. It contains racist language. Please visit at your own discretion.
ABOUT THE EXHIBITION
Whiteface weaves together a wide range of found video footage documenting “white people talking about race.” Breitz draws on a long-standing archive which includes voices of prominent political figures, news anchors and talk show hosts; as well as those of lesser-known or anonymous YouTubers. As such, the work reflects white perspectives that run the gamut from neo-Nazi ideology and far right propaganda, to everyday racism and the posturing of “good white people.” Wearing nothing but a white dress shirt and zombie contact lenses, Breitz rotates through a series of cheap blonde wigs as the work unfolds, among which her own platinum head of hair is featured. The artist’s unwigged appearance among the characters that populate the piece, serves to acknowledge her own embeddedness in whiteness.
While some of the disembodied voices that Breitz lip-syncs to in Whiteface may be recognizable, specific white folks are not the primary target of this stinging satire. Rather, it is the condition of whiteness that Breitz seeks to prod into visibility.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Candice Breitz (born in Johannesburg, 1972) is a Berlin-based artist. Her moving image installations have been shown internationally. Throughout Breitz’s career, she has explored the dynamics by means of which an individual becomes him or herself in relation to a larger community, be that the immediate community that one encounters in family, or the real and imagined communities that are shaped not only by questions of national belonging, race, gender and religion, but also by the increasingly undeniable influence of mainstream media such as television, cinema and other popular culture. Most recently, Breitz’s work has focused on the conditions under which empathy is produced, reflecting on a media-saturated global culture in which strong identification with fictional characters and celebrity figures runs parallel to widespread indifference to the plight of those facing real world adversity. In 2022, she completed The White Noise Trilogy, a trio of multichannel video installations that includes Love Story(2016), TLDR (2017) and Whiteface (2022).
Breitz holds degrees from the University of the Witwatersrand (Johannesburg), the University of Chicago and Columbia University (NYC). She has participated in the Whitney Museum’s Independent Studio Program and led the Palais de Tokyo’s ‘Le Pavillon’ residency as a visiting artist during the year 2005-2006. She has been a professor at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste in Braunschweig since 2007
Whiteface was commissioned by the Museum Folkwang with support from the Kunsthalle Baden-Baden
Curator: Marina Paulenka (Director of Exhibitions)
Producer: Thomas Schäfer (Exhibitions Manager)