Candice Breitz’ Extra! is the first comprehensive survey exhibition of the artist’s work to be presented in South Africa. Breitz was born in Johannesburg but has been living and working in Berlin for many years now. In the work of this internationally renowned artist, her South African background blends with Breitz’ artistic experience made in Germany.
Breitz’ exhibition derives its title from her new work Extra (2011), a single-channel video as well as a series of photographs created on the set of the soap opera Generations. South Africa’s most loved soap and the most watched television programme on the African continent seeks to paint a picture of the country’s emerging black middle class against the backdrop of the media industry. In Extra, Breitz inserts herself into a number of actual scenes from Generations, sometimes subtly, sometimes awkwardly and absurdly, but always without judgement or easy explanation. She thus resonates as a conspicuously white presence amongst an otherwise black cast. The resulting images are simultaneously thought provoking and uncomfortably amusing – implicitly raising questions about what it might mean to be white in the context of the new South Africa.
The second video installation in the exhibition titled Factum (2010) is similarly concerned with questions around identity and self-formation. The third work on this exhibition Mother + Father (2005) is a pair of video installations that features a selection of fictional parental characters drawn from popular cinema. Extra! will travel to Cape Town later this year, opening at IZIKO National Gallery on 25 April 2012.