Visual Arts Professor Sanford Biggers Retrospective at the Brooklyn Museum
Brooklyn Museum from September 23 to January 8, 2012
Sanford Biggers, Visual Arts Assistant Professor retrospective titled Sweet Funk—An Introspective, challenges and reinterprets symbols and legacies that inform contemporary America. n this focused selection of thirteen pieces, New York–based artist Sanford Biggers challenges and reinterprets symbols and legacies that inform contemporary America. The exhibition is Biggers’ first museum presentation in New York, and it will also mark the Brooklyn debut of Blossom (2007), a large-scale multimedia installation that incorporates references ranging from lynchings to Buddha’s enlightenment under the bodhi tree.
Among the other, thematically related pieces is Cheshire (2008), a sculpture that references both the disembodied smile of the eponymous cat and the caricatured grin associated with blackface minstrelsy. Kalimba II (2002), named after an African percussion instrument, incorporates a piano bisected by a wall; a bench invites visitors to sit down and play half of the keyboard, initiating a dialogue/duet with an unseen visitor on the other side of the wall. As with Blossom, Lotus (2007) combines references to Buddhism and to slavery: a lotus etched in glass contains in each petal diagrams of human bodies placed in the cargo hold of an eighteenth-century slave ship. Biggers has been creating installations and performances for more than a decade.
Professor Biggers also has a featured article in the latest edition of BOMB magazine.