NEW YORK, N.Y.- SculptureCenter
presents Cosmic Voodoo Circus, an exhibition of new work by Sanford Biggers commissioned through SculptureCenter's Artist in Residence program. Merging modern and post-modern strategies with vernacular forms, Biggers studies and posits historical and contemporary subjectivity as a fluid and multivalent concept. Cosmic Voodoo Circus is curated by Mary Ceruti, SculptureCenter's Executive Director and Chief Curator, and will be on view through November 28, 2011.
In Cosmic Voodoo Circus, Biggers exploits the carnival aesthetic to address profound issues of identity, the power of objects, as well as spiritual and cultural transmigration. At the center of Biggers' installation is a new video titled Shake, the second part in an odyssean trilogy about the formation and dissolution of identity. Shot in Brazil with a Creative Time travel grant, Shake follows Ricardo Castillo, a Brazilian-born, Germany based, choreographer, clown, stuntman and DJ, through a transformative journey from the ocean through the favelas, to a colonial palace eventually returning to the sea as an androgynous silver-skinned figure. (The first video in the trilogy, Shuffle, will be on view at the Brooklyn Museum of Art, beginning September 23, 2011 as part of Sanford Biggers: Sweet Funk an Introspective.) The installation also features several new sculptures including an empty trapeze swinging overhead like a pendulum, a suspended sculpture based on a pair of African spirit sculptures constructed from fabrics including seersucker and quilts, and a billboard sized minstrel-like toothy grin, a recurrent image in Biggers' work.
Sanford Biggers works across disciplines and cultures creating sculpture, video, photography, music and photographs. Incorporating icons and rites ranging from Japanese mandalas and slave quilts to hip hop and YouTube music culture, Biggers' work connects the signifiers and patterns that link African spiritualism, Buddhist sacred rituals, and African-American urban culture. Biggers has been included in several notable exhibitions including Prospect 1/ New Orleans Biennial, Illuminations at the Tate Modern, Performa 07, the Whitney Biennial and Freestyle at the Studio Museum in Harlem. He has also had solo exhibitions at Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum, Santa Barbara; Grand Arts, Kansas City; Triple Candie, New York; Contemporary Art Museum, Houston; and Matrix/University of Berkeley Museum, Berkeley. A solo show will open at Mass MOCA in December 2011. Born in Los Angeles, Biggers currently lives in New York and is an Assistant Professor in the Visual Arts Department at Columbia University.