04 through 27 October 2001
Team will present a solo exhibition by installation artist Janet Biggs from the
4th through the 27th of October 2001. The gallery is located at 527 West 26th
Street, cross streets Tenth and Eleventh Avenues, on the ground floor.
Janet Biggs is known for a body of work centering on the image of the horse. Her
multiple-channel installations, condensed yet epic, have garnered her a strong
critical reputation and numerous museum exhibitions, as well as a position that
places her work in the lineage of post-feminist discourse. Works such as Girls
and Horses, a monumental installation work from 1995, Water Training (1997), and
BuSpar (1999) mated projections of thundering horses with little girls,
synchronized swimmers, and Biggs' autistic aunt, respectively. The power of
these pieces came from the juxtaposition of images that simultaneously
represented suffocation and release, control and chaos. This frisson of emotions
continues in her latest works.
The exhibition here at Team is made up of two recent three-channel projections,
Haldol and Risperidone. Over the past few years, Biggs has turned her attention
from the impact of fantasy and sublimation on psychosexual formation, and toward
the growing number of psychic states that are treated with medication. The focus
of Biggs' most recent work is the creation of installation pieces that trigger
in the viewer a state that mimics that which the specific drug is meant to
Haldol is an anti-psychotic drug marketed as a cure for the quick uncontrollable
movements of Tourette's Syndrome. The alternating images are those of a young
basketball player moving towards the viewer, a horse violently chomping at the
camera itself, and a thunderous set of waterfalls. This repeated cycle of
focused energy, harsh eruption, and loss of control signifies the collapse of
focus and power, and a subsequent fall into a crisis of identity.
The front gallery space contains three separate projections, each of which
alternates between two different images. The space is reconfigured in such a way
as to deny the viewer simultaneous access to all of the "screens."
Projected onto all of these screens, each located within a partly contained
space, are young athletes deeply involved in displays of mastery. The insert
images of nature serve as a kind of symbolic blot that wipes out and undermines
the control of the athletes, serving to remind us of what lurks beyond surface
appearance; the primitive urges controlled by civilizing forces. Risperidone,
the drug from which this piece takes its title, is an anti-psychotic meant to
curb aggressive behavior and self-abuse. In effect, these types of medications
are prescribed to release individuals from private prisons. They attempt to free
patients from psychic states that deter cognitive and emotional well being.
Ms. Biggs' works have been shown at numerous museums and public institutions
throughout the United States and in Europe. Support for this exhibition was
provided by the Wexner Center Media Arts Program, The Ohio State University,
Ohio. As part of its growing support of the arts and new media artists,
Panasonic was chosen by Biggs to provide the state-of-the-art video equipment
used to display her work.
Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10am to 6pm. For further information
and/or photographs, please call the gallery at 212.279.9219.
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