Alec Baldwin as a migrant on an overcrowded boat en route to Europe from Somalia? Julianne Moore as the victim of violence and forced displacement in the Congo? In Candice Breitz’s Love Story, currently on view at KOW, Berlin, the artist interviews six men and women who recount their stories of escape, which are then reinterpreted and told by Hollywood stars Baldwin and Moore.
Love Story deconstructs the Hollywood tendency to whitewash and, in the process, subverts and exposes it, rendering the practice directly visible and audible. The dark, cavernous space of KOW lends itself particularly well to Breitz’s seven-channel film installation. Upon entering, the viewer is immediately confronted with Baldwin and Moore recounting the tales of six individuals, each filled with love, loss, hope, and hopelessness. The 73-minute video features the two actors in medium and close-up shots as they take on the different roles of the individuals interviewed by Breitz in New York, Berlin, and Cape Town in late 2015. These six individuals, whom Breitz casted through personal relationships and contacts, include a Somalian (Farah Abdi Mohamed), a Syrian (Ezzat Mardini), a Venezuelan Luis Ernesto Nava Molero), an Indian (Francis Saveri), a Congolese (Mamy Maloba Langa), and an Angolan (José Maria João), — all of whom have unique memories that deserve individual attention. They are all seated in front of green screens, a neutralizing background that allows the viewer to narrow in and focus on their stories, which are at times saddening and confusing but also funny and laden with anecdotes about love and friendship. Baldwin and Moore take on their roles dutifully, capturing the mannerisms of their characters with compassion and emotion.
Read the whole piece on Hyperallergic.