|Sanford Biggers, Shake, 2011. HD color video still. © 2011 Sanford Biggers.|
Sanford Biggers: Cosmic Voodoo Circus
September 10 - November 28, 2011
44-19 Purves Street
Long Island City, NY
Opening Reception: Saturday, September 10th, 5-7pm
SculptureCenter is pleased to announce 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 September 10 - November 28, 2011. An opening reception will take place Saturday, September 10th, 5-7pm and is open to the public.
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 will also feature 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.
SculptureCenter's exhibition program is generously supported by grants from the New York State Council on the Arts; The New York City Department of Cultural Affairs; the Kraus Family Foundation; the A Woodner Fund; the Lambent Foundation Fund of The Tides Foundation, Lily Auchincloss Foundation, Inc., and contributions from our Board of Trustees and many generous individuals.
Cosmic Voodoo Circus is made possible with the support of Beth Rudin De Woody, Toby D. Lewis Philanthropic Fund of the Jewish Federation of Cleveland, and Jeanne and Michael Klein and a grant from the Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation.
Founded by artists in 1928, SculptureCenter is a not-for-profit arts institution in Long Island City, NY dedicated to experimental and innovative developments in contemporary sculpture. SculptureCenter commissions new works and presents exhibitions by emerging and established, national and international artists. Our programs identify new talent, explore the conceptual, aesthetic and material concerns of contemporary sculpture, and encourage independent vision.