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The Persistence of Hope
Janet Biggs, 2015
Two-channel, high definition video instillation with sound, 16:9 format
With Arctic footage from Katja Aglert's Winter Event-antifreeze, 2009 (filmed by Janet Biggs).

Time: 07:24, looped
Edition of 1, plus 2 APs

Janet Biggs’ video, The Persistence of Hope, is a two-channel video installation which focuses on the solace one of Biggs’ relatives found in his residual memory of birds. After his diagnosis, he would gather dead hummingbirds found in his garden, carefully seal them in clear plastic bags, and place them in his freezer. Only after his death did the artist learn of this ritualized attempt to sustain beauty and hold onto life as he felt it fade away. Juxtaposing imagery of gravity-defying hummingbirds with footage shot in the Arctic and in neurological research laboratories–in particular of freezers preserving everything from simple worm cells to human brain cells–Biggs paints a tender picture of life caught between hope and futility.

The Persistence of Hope is part of Biggs' work, Echo of the Unknown, a multidimensional exhibition combining video, sound, and objects that explore the role of memory in the construction of a person’s identity.

Video excerpt (Original is high definition):

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