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Can't Find My Way Home
Janet Biggs, 2015

Single-channel, high definition video, 16:9 format
Time: 9:45
Edition of 5, plus 2 APs

4-channel, high definition video installation with sound
Length: 08:19, looped
Unique piece

An avid collector of gems, Biggs’ grandfather was able to recall the most obscure names of samples in his collections and the locations of their acquisition even as he was losing the ability to remember or identify family members and close friends around him. In 1980, Merkers miners discovered a unique and extraordinary geological anomaly 800 meters below the surface: a cavern filled with giant, glistening, geometric crystals, some measuring more than a meter in length. Entering this natural wonder is like walking into a mammoth geode, an experience that is both immersive and otherworldly.

Can’t Find my Way Home juxtaposes footage shot in the crystal caverns below the German Merkers salt mine with documentation of neurological research conducted in laboratories in New York and Houston. In doing so, Biggs draws visual connections between the structure of these crystals and the proteins that determine the biochemical conditions of a hyper-excited brain, such as one afflicted with Alzheimer’s. By physically exploring the Merkers crystal cavern, Biggs figuratively sets out to investigate the diseased brain of her grandfather, tracing fading memories and making astonishing discoveries as she herself experiences disorientation and confusion, some of the same symptoms endured by Alzheimer’s patients.

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Four-channel video installation:


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