Flash Art, October 2005


By Bruno LeMieux-Ruibal

Harlem's non-profit space Triple Candie hosts the New York debut of Sanford Biggers with a complex three-part mixed-media installation. Under the columns of the main space, a site-specific, expansive colored-sand painting resembles an Islamic prayer rug or an oriental mandala, but on closer inspection reveals itself to be a mosaic of words concerning politics and the media.

In the project space, Network (remix) crudely complements the delicate beauty of the sand painting with a video of an actor delivering an ignited speech on the perils of TV, along with the set where the harangue was filmed. An homage to and deconstruction of Sidney Lumet's mythic 1976 movie Network, its message of corporate and media corruption is reinforced here by a confrontation between the prophet-like anchorman in the video and the religious undertones of the rug floor painting.

In this curious exhibition, Biggers continues to engage viewers in a consideration of cultures and perspectives from around the world. This fusion results in challenging contrasts: the peacefulness of the floor painting and the raw aggression of the video, the Middle Eastern source of the former and the American origins of the latter; a personal reflection in the main space and the mass media's voice in the project space. The artist not only presents us with personal challenges but ones that reflect the current gulfs between cultures and nations.


On View