janet biggs

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Sarah Clark-Langager
Western Gallery
Western Washington University
Bellingham ,WA 98225
(360) 650-3900

(360) 650-3900

Western Gallery HOURS
Monday through Friday, 10am-4pm; Wednesdays,
Saturday, 12-4pm.

      Janet Biggs: Flight and BuSpar. Video Installations

      April 2 - May 5, 2001

      Since the 1960s video art has primarily taken two directions. One focus has been the exploration of the electronic technology and how it could be manipulated to create different art forms. Another interest has been the use of video equipment as a recording device, another way of creating imagery, just as in painting, sculpture, film or photography. Janet Biggs’ background in painting and sculpture has allowed her to easily move out into space with room-size installations incorporating the immediacy of video on the surface of the walls and various soundtracks.

      Biggs has always been interested in psychological themes dealing with fears and fantasies. Reoccurring images in her work range from the young child to the middle-aged adult; from the stuffed toy horse to a large, instinctive animal; from an enclosed room to water or outer space. For example, Flight incorporates the image of a space astronaut, horses and swimmers. BuSpar pairs an elderly woman in a rocking chair with horses cantering in a ring. Any symbol is always carried beyond the most obvious or accustomed meaning; for example, the young girl’s idealization of her horse to a larger question about constructed roles in society. By drawing the viewer into a multi-channel presentation with unusual viewpoints and intersection of images, Biggs makes the spectator re-envision familiar images and examine contemporary issues about identity, modernity and lines of power.

      Based in New York, Janet Biggs has been showing her work since the mid eighties primarily on the east coast. Her sculptural work incorporating a baby crib ringed by toy horses was the highlight of the Embedded Metaphor exhibition at the Western Gallery several years ago. Most recently her video was featured in the video installation festival, Scopophilia. Pleasure in Looking, at the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati. The installation Flight was first created for Wesleyan University’s Zilka Gallery, Middletown, CT.


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