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The Woods is a trilogy of video installations by renowned South African artist Candice Breitz that takes a close look at the world of child performers and the performance of childhood in order to probe the dreams and promises embedded in mainstream cinema. Consistent with Breitz’s interest in the role that mimicry plays in the forging of selfhood and her ongoing analysis of the circular relationship between real life and reel life, The Woods traverses three continents to explore the rituals and conventions governing the on camera and off-camera personae of professional child actors, as well as adult actors who have become famous playing child roles. The trilogy brings together footage shot in Los Angeles, Mumbai and Lagos, seeking to observe and grasp the aspirational logic that is shared by Hollywood, Bollywood and Nollywood. Engaging actors and crews whose creative labor would ordinarily be subsumed into these three giant popular cinema industries, the three chapters of The Woods bring a behind the-scenes eye to industries that typically prefer to mask their inner workings.