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by Charlie Finch

February 13, 2009


The best piece I witnessed, on its last day at Claire Oliver's space, was Janet Biggs' brilliant video Vanishing Point, which juxtaposes a motorcycle speed racer named Porterfield, who is a dead ringer for the actress Linda Hamilton, as she glides across the Salt Flats with footage of the Addiction Rehabilitation Choir, AfAm angels singing an inspirational tune penned by the artist. (Biggs brought them in at 5 pm on the last day of the show to see her video for the first time.)

Vanishing Point brings to mind white male influences such as Michael Snow's Wavelength and the Beach Boys' song Spirit of America, about land-speed record holder Craig Breedlove. Nevertheless, the "vanishing point" of the video is the American white male point of view, embodied in the support crew and spectators, all middle aged white men, hanging out in the desert to witness Porterfield's record breaking ride. Vanishing Point, as mellow and elegiac a piece of poetry as has ever been brought to the screen, belongs in a major museum collection so that everyone may see it.

CHARLIE FINCH is co-author of Most Art Sucks: Five Years of Coagula (Smart Art Press).


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