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Claudia Bitran

first performed on October 25, 2012
Gelman Gallery, RISD Museum, Providence, RI
performed every time that it is played on Youtube or Vimeo


Providence, RI


I lived most of my life in Chile, where I always felt far away from my pop idols. Watching MTV and reality shows became my portal, I learned the choreographies of every music video I loved (N’Sync, Britney, Destiny’s Child…), as well as the lyrics. I analyzed the stars, their expressions, costumes and sets.

In particular, I was obsessed with Britney Spears music videos. In Chile, I was a Britney Spears impersonator for a TV show called Mi Nombre Es (My Name Is, 2011). Being a celebrity impersonator on TV was an important way to understand the pressure of performing live in front of a whole country, and it made me think about the vulnerability of people who want to become stars. I wanted to completely embody this experience, living the stress of the backstage of a TV-show set.

But there were other elements that interested me as well. I deeply wanted to feel what it was to be Britney Spears, I wanted to be inside of her videos, I wanted to become her dancers, understand her sets, touch the costumes, and have control over every element of her music videos. What I really wanted was to recreate the whole production of her pop universe. In 2012 I decided to remake 20 of her most popular videos. I started by making miniature maquettes of her sets, copying every element through small dioramas made with craft materials. Then with a glue gun, paint and canvas, I made the costumes. I also rehearsed and learned all the choreographies of her dancers and all of Britney’s moves and gestures. With the help of my green screen and After Effects, I could insert myself into all of these sets. I finally had reproduced all these videos and they were surprisingly very similar to the original ones.

The piece is shown in two different ways: as a video installation in a gallery space with 20 videos projected at the same time, on loop, and also as individual videos through the internet, under the same name of the original videos that I used as models.

These video performance projects are the way that I investigate anonymous loneliness, DIY spectacles, ridiculousness, beauty, the pathetic, humor, formulaic diagrams of desires, homogenous crowds and stars acting inside and/or looking into theatrical sets.