This Thursday, November 20, join Montclair Art Museum’s Art Talk on Sandford Biggers.
Biggers is an interdisciplinary artist who works in film/video, installation, sculpture, music, and performance. He has achieved international prominence over the last decade with a diverse body of work that explores themes of identity, race, American history, and spirituality, often by blending installation and performance. In Codex, a recent project, Biggers continues to probe these themes through another stylistic departure: painting on historical quilts, many of which were gifts to the artist from descendants of slave owners.
His latest work, Danpatsu, is a single-channel video simultaneously screened on two monitors for MAM’s outdoor video program. Part of Biggers’ “Both/And Not Either/Or” series, this work presents the artist dressed in traditional Japanese robes and seated in a meditation posture in a forest.
He is approached by a woman, clad in a kimono, who carefully and ceremoniously cuts off his long dreadlocks: a reference to danpatsu-shiki, the ritual removal of a sumo wrestler’s topknot when he retires. The simple yet startling act of the haircut evokes a web of associations surrounding cultural identities, masculinity, and sexuality; while the male topknot holds particular significance in Japan, dreadlocks are likewise meaningful in African-American culture. At once contemplative, disorienting, and thought-provoking, Danpatsu probes the cross-cultural exchange that distinguishes today’s global society.
MAM Art Talks : Sanford Biggers
Thursday, November 20 at 7 pm
MAM, 3 South Mountain Avenue, Montclair, NJ, 07042
$12 members / $15 nonmembers