A Human Texture: the Video Portraits of Candice Breitz
Candice Breitz draws us into the devotional world of fandom and pop music by recruiting twenty-five ardent John Lennon fans to re-perform, a cappella style, his entire first solo album, John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band (1970). The participating fans revisit Lennon’s doleful lyrics, penned while he was undergoing primal therapy with Dr Arthur Janov to probe the trauma of his childhood. Breitz configured Working Class Hero (A Portrait of John Lennon), 2006, as a single row of luminous screens that envelop the viewer in surround sound amplified through the soaring, vaulted ceiling of Anna Schwartz Gallery in Sydney.1 Some participants are reticent while others sing emotively. Breitz’s collective video portraits suggest the congregational dimension of incantation, while returning us to songs as the soundtrack of our experiences.