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candice breitz

Working Class Hero

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco
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candice breitz: working class hero

Imagine 25 of the most ardent John Lennon fans simultaneously singing along to his first solo album, John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band (1970), from beginning to end. Artist Candice Breitz gathered such a group, selecting Lennon devotees from around the world to individually pay tribute to their idol. Displayed on 25 screens, the resulting video installation, Working Class Hero (A Portrait of John Lennon) (2006), synchronizes the fans’ performan- ces in off-kilter harmony. The impassioned chorus sings for 39 minutes and 55 seconds (the exact length of the album). On view in an adjacent gallery is Mother (2005), another exploration of pop culture icons. For this video piece, Breitz edited film performances by Faye Dunaway, Diane Keaton, Shirley MacLaine, Julia Roberts, Susan Sarandon, and Meryl Streep to create a reve- aling composite of the Hollywood cliché of the difficult mother.