For over two decades, Candice Breitz (born Johannesburg, South Africa 1972) has joined video, portraiture, and popular culture to question the stories we listen to as we make sense of a society rife with inequality, injustice, and suffering. Her work examines how our fascination with celebrity, the 24-hour news cycle, and social media have diluted our attention spans and ability to empathize.

This exhibition features two multichannel video installations, shown together for the first time, from a yet-to-be-completed trilogy: TLDR (2017) and Love Story (2016). Each work occupies two rooms, offering alternate narrative approaches to distinct humanitarian crises. The first room of each work provides a highly edited, entertaining, cinematic approach. In the second room of each work, an archive of extensive first- person interviews invites longer periods of lingering and listening.

TLDR (the acronym for “too long, didn’t read”) was made in close dialogue with a community of sex workers based in Cape Town, South Africa. The installation explores the cultural debates surrounding sex work, and the ongoing campaign for human rights for those who make a living in the sex industry. Love Story contrasts the allure of fame and stardom, as represented by actors Alec Baldwin and Julianne Moore, with the trials and tribulations of six individuals who collectively exemplify the motivations and hardships of the global refugee crisis.

Both works probe systems of privilege and the ways the media industry vies for our attention, all the while honoring those living precarious lives. Filled with the voices of people whom we may never meet, this exhibition leaves us with a profound sense of urgency, encouraging us to feel more deeply, listen more closely, and perhaps even to act.

This exhibition is generously sponsored by The Alvin and Fanny B. Thalheimer Exhibition Endowment Fund and The Hardiman Family Endowment Fund.

2020 Vision is generously sponsored by the Ms. Foundation for Women.

Mamy Langa has decided against having her interview online while her asylum application is being processed.

Shabeena Saveri has decided against having her interview online while her asylum application is being processed.

Exhibition Credits

Candice Breitz

b. Johannesburg, South Africa 1972

Love Story
2016
Featuring Alec Baldwin and Julianne Moore
Seven channel installation: 7 hard drives (color, sound); 73:42 min.
Courtesy of Goodman Gallery (London), Kaufmann Repetto (New York) + KOW (Berlin)

Based on and including interviews with Shabeena Francis Saveri (03:38:49), Mamy Maloba Langa (04:15:35), Sarah Ezzat Mardini (02:47:52), Farah Abdi Mohamed (03:32:19), José Maria João (03:27:57), and Luis Ernesto Nava Molero (03:49:58).

Commissioned by the National Gallery of Victoria (Melbourne), Outset Germany (Berlin) + Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg

TLDR
2017
Thirteen channel installation: 13 hard drives (color, sound); 60:00 min.
Courtesy of Goodman Gallery (London), Kaufmann Repetto (New York) + KOW (Berlin)

Featuring interviews with Zoe Black (00:34:42), Connie (01:07:18), Duduzile Dlamini (01:18:40), Emmah (01:08:51), Gabbi (01:28:28), Regina High (01:17:19), Jenny (01:09:19), Jowi (01:02:49), Tenderlove (01:12:40), and Nosipho “Provocative” Vidima (00:45:57). Narrated by Xanny “The Future” Stevens.

Commissioned by the B3 Biennial of the Moving Image, Frankfurt

Who do you listen to?

Explore how other Museum visitors have answered this question in the videos below.

Discussion