Professor Sanford Biggers Opens Two New Exhibitions

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School of the Arts Visual Arts Associate Professor Sanford Biggers has two new solo shows on this fall, in Detroit and Connecticut.

Subjective Cosmology, on view at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit through January 1, 2016, is an interactive exhibition incorporating video, visual art objects, and new media. “I’m not focusing on one particular type of media in this conversation,” said Biggers, describing the work during his artist talk at MOCAD, “because I consider myself to be a conceptual artist and an inter-media artist.”

Comprising part of the exhibition is Biggers’ three-part film series Shuffle, Shake, Shatter, which follows an unnamed protagonist as he travels through Germany, Brazil, and West Africa, abstractly retracing the North Atlantic Slave Trade route in search of his own identity. The installation will provide the backdrop for an exclusive new performance by Moon Medicin, a multimedia concept band led by Biggers and featuring a rotating cast of musicians, designers, and performance artists based in Detroit.

For the MOCAD exhibit, Biggers also created a site specific rendition of a previously exhibited work, Laocoön.  Measuring 30 feet in length, this Laocoön is the largest version Biggers has created, which occupies over a quarter of the gallery space. The work is named after a famous Roman sculpture, Laocoön and His Sons, depicting a priest struck down by the god Athena as he warned the Greeks about the Trojan horse. Biggers created the work in reaction to recent events, including the killing of unarmed black civilians by the police and the allegations of sexual assault leveled against Bill Cosby. The piece uses the figure of Bill Cosby’s creation, Fat Albert,  to represent these victims of police violence while also representing the loss of faith in authority and the father figure.

Biggers also has a second exhibition on view through January 23, 2017 at at the New Britain Museum of American Art in New Britain, CT. NEW/NOW: Sanford Biggers features a large site-specific installation of a floor rug composed of loose sand poured onto the floor in colorful patterns that evoke prayer rugs or quilts—objects frequently referenced in Biggers’ works for their aesthetic and cultural associations. Throughout the duration of the exhibition, audiences can engage with the work through meditation and observance, and by participating in a host of related programs organized by the Museum involving dance, discussion, and community.

Biggers received his BA from Morehouse College, an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and attended Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. His work is included in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Walker Art Center, the Whitney Museum, the Brooklyn Museum and the Bronx Museum, and has exhibited at such other museums as the Tate Britain and the Tate Modern in London, the Studio Museum in Harlem, and the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco. You can view more of his work here.
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Columbia University School of the Arts offers MFA degrees in Film, Theatre, Visual Arts, and Writing, an MA degree in Film Studies, a joint JD/MFA degree in Theatre Management & Producing, a PhD degree in Theatre History, Literature, and Theory, and an interdisciplinary program in Sound Arts.