The protagonists of Candice Breitz’s Soliloquy Trilogy are three Hollywood stars (and films): Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct, Clint Eastwood in Dirty Harry, and Jack Nicholson in The Witches of Eastwick. In order to examine the role of the star in Hollywood films and its significance in cinematographic narrative, the author cut the scenes from the films in which the actors express themselves verbally and arranged them in chronological order. The screen remains black when the stars speak but are not seen. The result is a soliloquy by the star in which remarks are left dangling, questions receive no answer, and the narrative coherence of the original film is broken down into disconnected fragments. In Soliloquy Trilogy the entire project of a pompous story in pure Hollywood style is “deconstructed” in accordance with purely formal criteria, rearranged, and transposed in an artistic procedure that uses the cinematographic tool of editing not in order to create an illusory reality but to lay bare its construction.
What would Hollywood be without its stars? And what would the stars be without the Hollywood system? Candice Breitz examines the mechanisms of the movie industry, stardom and the great Hollywood stories in her works. By examining films from specific viewpoints, extrapolating certain sequences and reorganizing them in accordance with new criteria, the artist brings the concealed micro-narratives into the open. In Becoming (2003) she remakes some key scenes with herself playing the roles of the famous actresses and compares them with the originals, which thus lose their aura of uniqueness. In Mother + Father (2005) she arranges scenes of famous stars playing parental roles in sequence, removing them from the original context of the film and highlighting the male and female stereotypes represented in Hollywood cinema. The artist lays bare the dynamics behind the pop cult of movie production and demonstrates that a cult can exist only as longs as someone is willing to believe in it.
Candice Breitz (Johannesburg, 1972) has received numerous international grants for her work from bodies such as the IASPIS in Stockholm and the Cité des Beaux Arts in Paris. In addition to solo shows at venues such as the Castello di Rivoli in Turin, MUSAC Leon (Spain), the White Cube in London and the Moderna Museet in Stockholm, she has taken part in numerous group events organized by institutions like the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, the Kunsthalle in Hamburg, the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo and the Louisiana Art Museum in Humblebaek (Denmark). Her works also form part of various public and private collections, including the Castello di Rivoli in Turin, MUSAC Leon, the West Collection in Pennsylvania and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York. Candice Breitz lives and works in Berlin.