fortnightly rounds

Janet Biggs: Nobody Rides for Free, via Janet Biggs on Facebook
Janet Biggs: Nobody Rides for Free, via Janet Biggs on Facebook
  • Laura and I had the chance to meet up with my never-before-met cousin Bob and his wife Janet last weekend, among other Cmar relations. Janet has a damn cool solo video and photography exhibit at Connor Contemporary Art in Washington DC entitled Nobody Rides For Free. From the announcement:

    Conner Contemporary Art is pleased to announce Janet Biggs’ first solo exhibition with the gallery, Nobody Rides for Free.

    In new video and photographs, Biggs delves into the desire to explore remote lands. To create this work, the artist embarked on an expedition in the high Arctic, traveling aboard an ice-class, 2-masted schooner, built in 1910. During the voyage, Biggs filmed Fade to White, focusing on a crew member as he navigated the ship through iceberg filled seas, and paddled a kayak past glacier walls and polar bears.

    As she photographed the explorer, Biggs tested her own will and endurance. The visual tension of her uncompromising imagery bespeaks their mutual struggle to maintain balance and purpose. Yet, the video also reveals the use of extensive rigging, exposing the myth of the solitary white male explorer. Biggs explains, “The desire to hold onto the notion of the ‘great white north’ as a blank space awaiting interpretation only reinforces the idea of the colonial polar hero. The ‘virgin’ north has now been mapped, surveyed, and mined, but increased knowledge has not replaced endless fantasies of discovery.”

    Loss and change are implicit in the video’s title, Fade to White, which refers to an editing technique used to evoke death or transcendence. Biggs integrated her Arctic imagery with sound and video footage of counter tenor John Kelly, whose age, androgyny, and mournful voice parallel the vanishing Arctic landscape and signal the waning of male dominance.

    Vanishing Point, the artist’s recent video featuring biker Leslie Porterfield and the Harlem Addicts Rehabilitation Center Choir, will be on view in the media room.

    The exhibit will run through July 30, so if you are in the DC area, be sure to swing by Connor and check it out.

  • Balticon approacheth this weekend. You have been warned. And will likely be warned again in more detail, within the next couple of days.
  • Over on the GLF, I note two soon-to-open beer establishments in the area – the Biergarten Haus, DC’s first traditional German beer garden, and De Kleine Duivel, a “classic Belgian brasseire” in Baltimore.
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