Him + Her, 2008
South African, 1972
14 channel digital video installation, Him: 28:29 minutes, Her: 23:56 minutes
installation dimensions variable
National Gallery of Canada (no. 43110)
“Within any consciousness there is a Greek chorus, a mess of intertwined voices.”
Berlin-based Candice Breitz appropriates from Hollywood movies and other popular sources to reflect on the cultural resonance of the mass media as it relates to issues of identity and psychology. Him + Her derives from the artist’s analysis of Jack Nicholson and Meryl Streep films, over which she noticed “a whole slew of clichés about masculinity and femininity that came rushing to the surface” of these iconic American actors’ varied cinematic roles. The resulting narrative, over the two-rooms of the installation, sees the transformation of the stars “Jack” and “Meryl” to “him” and “her” – gendered stereotypes grappling with introspective and, in his case, delivering overtly narcissistic dialogues.