SANFORD BIGGERS / NOTIONS
10 February - 18 March 2006
ROVE is very pleased to announce ‘Notions’, New York resident Sanford Biggers’ first solo show in the UK.
Among the works in the show will be the installation / video piece ‘Network: A Remix’ inspired by the 1976 Sidney Lumet directed movie ‘Network’: a satirical film about a fictional television network named Union Broadcasting System (UBS) and it’s struggle with poor ratings. In the film a veteran news anchorman at UBS finds out he is to be fired and goes on-air to announce this along with his intent to commit suicide during his final broadcast. This and his subsequent on-air ranting cause ratings to skyrocket, which in turn is exploited by the network. Biggers has re-created three sets from the film and installed them to appear as if the viewer is ‘backstage’ or in the Network studio where the accompanying video was shot. The video contains re-enactments of key scenes from the film through which he transforms a 20th Century cultural relic into a timeless message that resonates with our own contemporary existence. ‘Network: A Remix’ was first commissioned by Triple Candie, Harlem NY in 2005.
In ‘Calenda’, configurations of footprints or what the dance world calls ‘dance notation’ are spread across the floor and walls of a corner of the gallery following the patterns of the Hustle and Disco Tango. ‘Calenda’ makes reference to a dance that slaves adopted and which was initially perceived by their masters as both entertainment and a form of exercise. But it transpired that there were deeper and more subversive thoughts being expressed by their workforce, namely methods of escape. Distorting and abstracting the footprints on the walls into swirling formations Biggers moves to rehabilitate their meaning from frivolous disco steps by depicting them in constellation patterns. As a traditional spiritual reminded the escapees: "Follow the Drinkin' Gourd," an Africanized reference to an asterism within the constellation Ursa Major, or the ‘Big Dipper.’ Two stars in its bowl point to Polaris - the North Star, and for the slaves, freedom via the Underground Railroad.
Sanford Biggers was born in Los Angeles in 1970. He has been living in New York since 1999 and exhibiting his work since the mid 1990’s. In 1999 he received a Masters in Fine Art from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. His work has been exhibited internationally, including solo shows such as The Afronomical Way at the Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw, Poland in 2005; Sanford Biggers, Mary Goldman Gallery, Los Angeles in 2004; Both/And Not Either/Or, Contemporary Art Center Cincinnati, Cincinnati, 2004; Hip-Hop Ni Sasagu (In Fond Memory of Hip-Hop), Joanin Zen temple, Ibaraki, Japan 2003
Selected Group Shows: The Dalai Lama Portrait Project: The Missing Peace, The 100 for Tibet. (travelling), 2005; Double Consciousness: Black Conceptual Art Since 1970, Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, 2005; Social Studies, the Krannert Art Museum, Champaign, 2004; Black President: The Art and Legacy of Fela Kuti, The New Museum, New York, 2003; Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, 2002; Altoid’s Curiously Strong Collection, New Museum for Contemporary Art, New York, 2001.
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