Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Synchronized Skimming

"Airs Above the Ground" 2007

Video art is very difficult to photograph

especially when six videos are playing at once and one must resist the temptation to run in circles snapping away at all the moving screens.

That would just be pandemonium and it was difficult enough to form any sort of understanding watching each beginning to end.

"Coming Attraction" 2008

The show is "Tracking Up" at Solomon Projects, the recent work of NYC video artist Janet Biggs.

Biggs' work examines gender, documenting different cultural signifiers and splicing them together. Each video, around 3-5 minutes, was done simply, centering on one, or juxtaposing two somewhat obvious symbols of masculinity/femininity.

"Performance of Desire" 2007

i.e. military cadets

and synchronized swimming girls.

"Enemy of the Good" 2007

A man playing the piano for an empty Santiago Calatrava designed auditorium.

Something about this reminded me of Matthew Barney climbing the walls of the Guggenheim.

"Solipsism Syndrom" 2006

Solipsism (Latin: solus, alone + ipse, self) is the philosophical idea that "My mind is the only thing that I know exists

A splicing of a female swimmer and a polar bear.

At first I thought it was a nude hairy male (Biggs purposefully abstracts the bear) which was really interesting, a representation of sexual unrest or the mating dance.

The bear may have something more to do with aging? or the environmental devastation caused by kids in swimming pools? Polar Bears are going extinct you know.

"Fall on Me" 2006

From the press release, Biggs is known for "often using the image of the horse as an emblem of female sexual sublimation and masculine power. More recently, Biggs has focused on themes ranging from the representation of desire and pleasure, to issues of spectatorship and aging."

This had to be my favorite in the show. Instead of comparing/contrasting two signifiers within one video, such as female swimmers and male military cadets, this video focuses only on the horse and its acrobatic male rider. The relationship between the two is chocked full of innuendos but is not contrived by Biggs, only observed, instead of forcing a comparison, it happens naturally and is more interesting for it. This video harkens back to the excellent "Chamblee" video of high school wrestlers shown at Solomon Projects around 2003.

Show up through July 31st 2008. Check it out.

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