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The Character, 2011

Fifteen children were each asked to watch a Bollywood movie prominently featuring a child character. During the shoot that followed, each child was asked to verbally portray the child character in the movie that s/he had watched, to describe the role and plight of that character within the movie's narrative.

As they evoke fifteen fictional children from well-known Bollywood movies, the fifteen children portrayed in "The Character" offer a range of insights into the role played by the child (as character and spectator) in mainstream Indian cinema. It becomes apparent that their own values, views of the world and attitudes to life are at times closely related to those celebrated on screen. The children discuss their dreams and priorities in relation to those of the fictional children, their philosophies regarding persevering in life against all odds, and the importance of happy endings.

The edit avoids specific reference to particular movies or particular characters, instead weaving the fifteen interviews into a composite portrait of "the child" within the Bollywood imaginary, as told with the input of fifteen young Mumbaikar cinemagoers.

Candice Breitz, The Character, 2011, Single-Channel Video Installation, color, sound, 22:57 minutes, edition of 6 + 2 AP

Candice Breitz The Character, 2011 (film still)
Candice Breitz The Character, 2011 (film still)
Candice Breitz The Character, 2011 (film still)
Candice Breitz The Character, 2011 (film still)
Candice Breitz The Character, 2011 (film still)
Candice Breitz The Character, 2011 (film still)

Director + Editor: Candice Breitz
Camera + Lighting: Avijit Mukul Kishore
Sound Recordist: Anita Kushwaha
Post Production: Alex Fahl

Interviewees: Anushek Prasal, Archita Jha, Atharva Sunil, Eepsita Gupta, Kanchi Ketan Mehta, Kunal Vinay Nadkarni, Mihir Mukesh Mangaonkar, Nainisha Mehta, Pradnya Nirgun, Pranshu Parimal Rajurkar, Prithvi S. Trivedi, Sahiba Kaur, Tanushree Mehta, Vallaree Vinay Raut, Vinit Mekala.

Location: Gundecha Education Academy, Kandivali East, Mumbai.

Commissioned by European Media Art Festival Osnabrück (EMAF)
with the support of The Culture Programme 2007-2013 of the European Union

Candice Breitz

Candice Breitz, born in 1972 in Johannesburg, is best known for her moving image installations. Throughout her career, she has explored the dynamics by means of which an individual becomes him or herself in relation to a larger community, be that community 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 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 adversities. Candice Breitz is based in Berlin and, since 2007, holds a professorship for fine arts at the Braunschweig University of Art (HBK) and in the same year was awarded with the Prix International d´Art Contemporain I Fondation Prince Pierre de Monaco. Her work has been featured in international group shows in institutions such as Haus der Kunst, München (2023), Bundeskunsthalle, Bonn (2022), Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2021), Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk (2021), the Jewish Museum, New York City (2020), the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa (2016), De Appel Foundation, Amsterdam (2001). Solo exhibitions of Breitz’s work have been shown at Fotografiska, Berlin (2023), Tate Liverpool (2022), Museum Folkwang, Essen (2022), Kunstmuseum Stuttgart (2016), Kunsthaus Bregenz (2010), San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (2009) , Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2005) among others. Next to various group exhibitions Breitz has participated in biennales in Johannesburg (1997), São Paulo (1998), Istanbul (1999), Taipei (2000), Kwangju (2000), Tirana (2001), Venice (2005), New Orleans (2008), Göteborg (2003 + 2009), Singapore (2011) and Dakar (2014). She was invited to the South African Pavilion at the 57th Venice Biennale (2017).

Full Biography