janet biggs
 

Home / Biography / Videos / Photos / Recent Activities

Vanishing Point
Janet Biggs, 2009.

Single-channel, high definition video, 16:9 format
Time: 10:32
Edition of 5, plus 2 APs

Video excerpt:


Janet Biggs photo from Vanishing Poing: Leslie Portfield at the Bonneville Speed TrialsWith its title taken from Richard Sarafian's 1971 road movie, Janet Biggs' new video Vanishing Point looks at the ways in which an individual vanishes. Informed by her experiences with the effects of Alzheimer's disease, Biggs asks, "When are we no longer ourselves?" Combining images of motorcycle speed record holder Leslie Porterfield on the salt flats of Utah with Harlem's Addicts Rehabilitation Center Gospel Choir performing a song written specifically for the video, Biggs' Vanishing Point examines the struggle to maintain one's identity, the roll of those who witness that identity vanishing, and a search for freedom that can end in destruction or transcendence.

Janet Biggs photo from Vanishing Point: the Addicts Rehabilitation Center Gospel ChoirLeslie Porterfield is fast. After a devastating crash on the Bonneville Salt Flats at over 100 mph in 2007 she returned in 2008 and broke three world motorcycle records with a top speed of 234 mph. Filmed during these record breaking runs, Biggs' captures Porterfield's intense focus when everything is stripped away but the desire to be the fastest in the world.

In 1975, James Allen, a former addict and founder of Harlem's Addicts Rehabilitation Center, started an acapella choral group which became the ARC Gospel Choir. Since its inception the choir has dedicated itself to fight against addiction and to regain hope through the songs they sing.

Biggs collaborated with Grammy nominated composer Barney McAll on the song that the ARC choir performs in the video. With lyrics by Biggs and music by McAll, the song explores feelings of isolation and self-loss which lead some on a search to regain not only their identity, but to transcend all limits.

Utah's salt flats, the site of the Bonneville speed trials, offers an otherworldly landscape echoing the endless horizons in Sarafian's film. Seen as an essay on existentialism, Sarafian's Vanishing Point is noted for its social commentary of the post-Woodstock mood of the 1970s, a time when some became disillusioned and took extreme risks to regain a sense of self.

Texts:

bullet Finch, Charlie: Groundhog's Diary. Artnet, 13 February 2009.
bullet Conner, Jill: Janet Biggs at Claire Oliver Fine Art (Review of Vanishing Point). Art Quips, 9 January 2009.
bullet "Janet Biggs." Review of Vanishing Point. New Yorker, 22 February 2009.
bullet Fototherapy
bullet This Week In New York
bulletCover of FIM - Official magazine of Fédération internationale de motocyclisme (FIM)
bullet Moto Art (from drivelikeawoman.com)
 


Click for larger images:
Janet Biggs photo from Vanishing Point: Leslie Portfield at the Bonneville Motorcycle Speed Trials  Janet Biggs photo from Vanishing Point: Leslie Portfield at the Bonneville Motorcycle Speed Trials

Janet Biggs photo from Vanishing Point: the Addicts Rehabilitation Center Gospel Choir  Janet Biggs photo from Vanishing Point: the Addicts Rehabilitation Center Gospel Choir

Janet Biggs landscape photo from Vanishing Point: Utah's Bonneville Salt Flats  Janet Biggs landscape photo from Vanishing Point: Utah's Bonneville Salt Flats

Contact artist or gallery for higher-resolution images.

 


 

All images, videos, and texts on this site are protected by copyright and may not be reproduced without permission.
© 2010 Janet Biggs     Contact info.