Blaffer Art Museum opening reception: Janet Biggs: Echo of the Unknown
Blaffer Art Museum presents Janet Biggs: Echo of the Unknown, a multidimensional exhibition combining video, sound and objects that explore the role of memory in the construction of identity. Drawing from her personal memories of the effects of Alzheimer's on family members, heroic stories of public figures coping with the disease and research conducted with neurologists and geoscientists, Biggs raises fundamental questions about how we become — and lose our sense of — who we are.
An avid mineral collector, Biggs' grandfather could recall the most obscure names and origins of the samples in his collection, even as he was losing the ability to identify family members and close friends. Can't Find My Way Home, a four-channel video installation inspired by memories of the artist's grandfather, juxtaposes documentation of neurological research conducted in New York and Houston laboratories with footage shot in the crystal cavern below the German Merkers salt mine.
A cavern filled with giant, glistening, geometric crystals, Merkers is an extraordinary geological anomaly akin to a mammoth geode 800 meters below the surface. Combining footage of her physical exploration of the cavern, where extreme environmental conditions trigger disorientation, with scenes of the neurologists' lab work, Biggs draws a metaphorical connection between the cave and a brain as sites of memory and discovery.
On view through March 21, 2015.