‘factum kang’ 69 minutes, 10 seconds  artwork © candice breitz, photo of installation by designboom

berlin-based artist candice breitz produces multi-channel video installations that contemplate the idea of individuality, the process of individuation, and one’s relationship to a larger community. in her most recent piece entitled ‘factum’ 2010, she interviews seven sets of identical twins and one set of triplets (with age ranging from in their teens to grandmothers), that have been edited into dual-channel presentations premiered at the 2011 singapore art biennale.

all are mono-zygotic twins who spent their formative lives together and are able to draw upon shared memory and experiences. filmed in a setting of their choosing (in one of the homes of a twin) and asked to dress as identically as possible, the twins were individually interviewed by breitz for about 5 – 7 hours giving both individuals the opportunity to narrate their own story as they chose to. covering intimate topics including childhood, sibling rivalry and family history, and at the same time allowing each subject to address their relationship to the world at large. the series of documentary totals about nine hours of viewing.

singapore art biennale 2011: candice breitz ‘factum tremblay’ 78 minutes, 8 seconds artwork © candice breitz, photo of installation by designboom

breitz’s intention is to breakdown the superficial similarity that is seen in twins and edits the interviews to create a dialog between the two as they answer the same questions. while appearing visually identical, one slowly notices the differences in spoken interaction as well physical body language. at some points the two really do seem eerily similar in their use of the same syntax and gestures to describe memory, but coming to incredibly varied conclusions on topics both consider vital.

singapore art biennale 2011: candice breitz view of the installation at the singapore art biennale, as the pieces are meant to be experienced in darkness. image © designboom

by creating a study of identity in the form of comparing two visually similar subjects, the experience allows for the viewer to be highly focused on the content of what is being said and how it is being delivered. resulting in a reflection upon oneself that is perhaps personally meaningful and almost unexpected to the viewer.

singapore art biennale 2011: candice breitz left: production still of the tremblay twins right: the misericordia twins between interviews image © candice breitz

singapore art biennale 2011: candice breitz left: the kang twins’ preparation before the interview required matching haircuts and long sleeves so as to not show an arm tattoo right: production still during interviews showing just how similarly detailed the shots were constructed to be

singapore art biennale 2011: candice breitz precise to the point of matching the frame for both interviews image © candice breitz

some of the ‘factum’ videos, also see the studio breitz vimeo channel for more videos.

FACTUM KANG from Candice Breitz on Vimeo.

FACTUM TREMBLAY from Candice Breitz on Vimeo.

FACTUM MISERICORDIA from Candice Breitz on Vimeo.

FACTUM TANG from Candice Breitz on Vimeo.

FACTUM McNAMARA from Candice Breitz on Vimeo.

b. 1972, johannesburg, south africa. candice breitz lives and works in berlin.

— the third edition of the singapore biennale (SB2011) opened its doors to the public on march 13th and will run until may 15th, 2011.  designboom visited the shows led by artistic director matthew ngui and curators russell storer and trevor smith. the SB2011 open house program is organized by the singapore art museum (SAM) of the national heritage board and supported by the national arts council, singapore. 63 artists from 30 countries are presenting 161 works across four exhibition venues – SAM and SAM at 8Q, the national museum of singapore, old kallang airport and marina bay.