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Monday, 1 March 2010


Film of any kind, whether high art or a rom-com is at its most successful when it captivates the viewer so time passes unaware.  So that [DoR] was asked to leave White Cube Hoxton after spending minutes, hours (…more?) in front of Candice Breitz’s split screen video work Factum speaks volumes about their opinion of it.  The main gallery in the Hoxton gallery has be changed into a maze of screen rooms, far from a white cube, they have made the space into a too inviting area to get lost in front of the work.

Factum is an exhibition of video works shot in Toronto, Canada.  The videos are comprised of interviews that Breitz has conducted with sets of twin (and one set of triplets).  The films have been edited so that the siblings appear to be having a conversation with each other.  They are dressed in the same clothes making the difficulty with telling them apart and the problems of identity and individualism even harder. 

The name Factum is taken from Robert Rauschenberg’s almost identical paintings Factum I and Factum II (1957) and the videos are shown like a diptych reflecting this influence.

To watch the interviewees talking about the problems of being two people but feeling like one person is fascinating.  It is heartbreaking to hear the twins imagining the freedom of not being a twin and seeing the attraction and repulsion this causes.  One twin refers to the other as her soul mate but also wishes that she could have been born without a twin.

Factum looks at the way that twins struggle to differentiate themselves in a society that values the individual, something that can be applied to any of us.

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