Thuistezien 57 — 18.05.2019
Upon entering the first space of the installation you immediately come to stand in front of a big movie screen. The two faces that you see are very familiar and indeed, Julianne Moore and Alec Baldwin are sitting in what seems to be a movie set, rehearsing or shooting their latest acting role for ‘Love Story’. As both actors are re-telling excerpts from the script, it quickly becomes clear that the storyline is about refugees. But because the montage is cut into small fragments, it remains difficult to get the bigger picture.
In the second space the pieces fall together. Six screens tell the story of six different people, although all have one thing in common: they’ve all fled their home countries and sought asylum abroad. More important though, these six individuals have received a platform to tell their own personal experiences. Stories we read about every single day, we hear about ever more in this digital information era, however typically remain nameless and faceless in the media. ‘Love Story’ demonstrates two parallel realities and how we as spectators (fail to) identify with its characters. While putting on the headphones and getting caught into their lives, you start questioning the callousness of a media-saturated culture and the widespread indifference to those facing misfortune in the real world.
‘Love Story’ is a 7-channel installation that was shown at West in 2019 as part of the exhibition Foreign Agents by Candice Breitz. Based on and including interviews with Shabeena Francis Saveri, Mamy Maloba Langa, Sarah Ezzat Mardini, Farah Abdi Mohamed, José Maria João and Luis Ernesto Nava Molero. These interviews can be accessed online. (As per wishes of the persons involved, not all interviews are available online. Because of their precarious situations, it is necessary to handle the materials with great caution.)
Candice Breitz (1972) is a South African artist who mostly works with video. She uses this medium to show the people she works with and talk about pressing issues in our society. She manages to transmit this in a very powerful way, as it allows her to address these issues in a way that lets the people involved initiate the conversation. You hear the stories directly from them, firsthand accounts that show the emotions of each individual.