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Girls and Horses,
nine-channel video installation, 1996

Janet Biggs video addressing issues of Girls Sexuality Horses

"The ability to control an animal so much bigger than herself gave her a sense of awe and wonderful power. It was, however, not only gratifying in a physical sense; the caring for, riding, and showing of the horse also represented the mastery of a world that was completely mysterious to the uninitiated."

John E. Schowalter from the essay "Some Meanings of Being a Horsewoman," Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 1983, Vol. 38.

Texts:

bulletExhibition catalog, Kohler Arts Center
bullet Inselmann, Andrea: "Up Downs." Exhibition brochure. John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Sheboygan, WI. 1999.
bullet Zingmagazine Project, Zingmagazine 3, 1997
bullet Qualls, Larry: "Five Video Artists." Performance Arts Journal No. 54, The Johns Hopkins University Press, September 1996.
bullet Schwendener, Martha: Review of "Girls and Horses" at Chassie Post Gallery. Art Papers, May/June 1996.
bullet Hess, Elizabeth: "It Takes a Village." Village Voice, 26 March 1996.
bullet Halle, Howard: Review of "Girls and Horses" at Chassie Post Gallery. Time Out New York, 20 March 1996.

 

Girls and Horses has been presented:

bulletCastle Gallery, College of New Rochelle, New York, December 8, 2002 - March 2, 2003,
bulletNexus Contemporary Art Center, Atlanta, Georgia, January 2000,
bulletJohn Michael Kohler Arts Center, Sheboygan, Wisconsin. January, 1999,
bulletVantaa City Museum, Finland (Part of Family/PostFamily) in 1998,
bulletChassie Post Gallery, 453 Broome Street, New York, NY 10013, in April 1996.


[Click on images to enlarge]

Molly, Image from Girls and HorsesThis exhibition examines girls' relationships with horses, exploring issues of power, sexuality and autonomy.

 

Image of Brittany and Arthur Playing HorseyThe multi-media installation includes video monitors, still photography, and wall-sized video projections. The elements work together to create an active environment which allows complete immersion in Biggs' vision.
 
Image of Lola and Susan Playing HorseyMany girls have experienced an infatuation with the horse. This romance takes many forms, from early play, through fantasy and desire, and perhaps to the act of riding.
Image of Caroline and Karen Playing HorseyThe horse, a symbol of beauty, power, freedom and magic, can be an object of identification or serve as a protector.
 
Image of Amanda on DiplomatThis installation consists of three main elements: first, nine-year-old Amanda, trotting on a large white horse, appears to circle the gallery. This startling effect is achieved by rotating video projectors.
 
Image of Jacqui and Marc Playing HorseyThe second element is a series of intimate looks at girls playing "horsey."
Image of Justine on the Stick PonyEight monitors present video loops: one shows a girl playing with a stick horse,
Image of Eda Faye on the Coin Operated Horseone riding a coin operated horse,
Image of 
Lila, Rebecca and Regina on the Merry-Go-Roundone shows three girls on a merry-go-round, and five loops show girls playing horsey with a parent.
 
The third element is a large scale color photograph of a girl in her bedroom. The girl's favorite possessions surround her, including a plastic horse collection, horse show ribbons, saddle, and her diary. The bedroom is a shrine to the horse, and is evidence of girls' search for self-definition.

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