Saturday November 23, 7pm
Works by Hanna Schaich and Janet Biggs
Video screening followed by a conversation with the artists
suggested donation $6
Still from “Evelyn” (Hanna Schaich, 2013) – © courtesy of the artist
Microscope Gallery is very pleased to present an evening of video works by German artist Hanna Schaich and New York artist Janet Biggs. Schaich came to New York earlier this year to work with Janet Biggs and they have since worked closely together and developed an ongoing dialogue about their works. On the occasion of her New York debut, Schaich has personally selected the works of Biggs that will screen along with her own.
The program includes three new video works by Schaich and two recent works by Biggs that tackle grand stories, epic events, and then slide sideways into the deeply personal. Schaich and Biggs’ often focus on an individual’s search for self-definition and walk the line between transcendence and destruction. Identity is closely linked to physical environments, from the stark, wind-wrecked Arctic to a local public pool.
Hanna Schaich, 2013, single-channel, HDV, color, sound, 8 min 17 sec
Evelyn has her very own story to tell. …but most of her subordinate clauses when talking reveal more about herself and her life than an average diary. This film is a snippet of Evelyn’s life. It came into being because the life paths of two women crossed at a very peculiar place and brought them close together probably not least because of their unifying extraneousness. — Manuel Klein
Brightness All Around
Janet Biggs, 2011, single-channel, HDV, color, sound, 8 min 36 sec
Brightness All Around reveals an inspiring determination to define and defend one’s identity in perhaps the Earth’s most extreme environment. Linda Norberg, a woman coal miner, begins each day by descending miles into the darkness beneath the frozen Arctic. Serving as a counterpoint to the terror of the underground is a vocal performance by New York music guru Bill Coleman. Using lyrics taken from near death experiences, Coleman bears witness to the struggle to maintain a self of sense.
Hanna Schaich 2013, single-channel, HDV, color, sound, 3 min 45 sec
In Taking Over we find ourselves first in an ice cream truck garage and then in the training area of an ice skating rink. Narrations, written by the artist, open up a different world and reveal a darker side. These poems transform the images and we find ourselves observing while listening to the unconscious.
Hanna Schaich, 2013, single-channel, HDV, color, sound, 3 min 45 sec
In Falling Into we find ourselves in an ice skating rink observing figure skaters. From there we enter a new world in Central Park Zoo. Like “Taking Over”, the work is also about loss, the absence of desire, aggression, and voyeurism among others.
In the Cold Edge
Janet Biggs, 2010, single-channel, HDV, color, sound, 5 min 29 sec
In the Cold Edge examines an individual’s search for meaning at the end of the earth. Isolated and vulnerable, challenged by the elements and the unknown, Biggs’ subjects (one of which is herself) find a kind of sublimity in which social time is destabilized by the power of nature, resulting in both awe and terror.
A conversation with Hanna Schaich and Janet Biggs immediately follows the screening.
HANNA SCHAICH (1986) is a video and performance artist working and living in NYC and Berlin. Since 2013 she has been studio assistant for video artist Janet Biggs. She received her undergraduate degree in 2012 from Kunsthochschule Berlin Weißensee and is currently working on her master thesis. Her works often include paradoxical action sequences and storylines, and playing with gender and gender roles. She loves the moving image, extremes, philosophy, psychology and theories about gender and seeks to combine these themes in her work. Her works have previously screened and exhibited in Germany at the Festival for Film and Performance, Halle; Schillerpalais, Berlin; The Festival for Interdisciplinary Processes, Frankfurt am Main; Ballhaus Ost, Berlin; and Localize Festival, Potsdam. She received a grant for “performance” at the Summeracademy in Salzburg and has just finished the “Cuts and Burns Residency” at the Outpost Artists Resources in Ridgewood, New York.
JANET BIGGS is known primarily for her work in video, photography and performance. She lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. She has captured such events as speeding motorcycles on the Bonneville Salt Flats, horses galloping on treadmills, Olympic synchronized swimmers in their attempts to defy gravity, and kayaks performing a synchronized ballet in Arctic waters. Biggs received her undergraduate degree from Moore College of Art, and pursued graduate studies at Rhode Island School of Design. She has had solo exhibitions and film screenings at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden; Tampa Museum of Art; Skulpturenmuseum Glaskasten Marl; Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art; Mint Museum of Art; Everson Museum of Art; Gibbes Museum of Art; Rhode Island School of Design Museum; Vantaa Art Museum, Finland; Linkopings Konsthall, Passagen, Sweden; the Oberosterreichisches Landesmuseum, Austria; and the Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts, Australia, among others. Biggs is represented by CONNERSMITH., Washington, DC, and Winkleman Gallery, New York City.
Still from “In the Cold Edge” (Janet Biggs, 2010) – © courtesy of the artist, CONNERSMITH, Washington, DC, and Winkleman Gallery, New York City