Connecting the dots between disparate realms

by OFA Staff

Guest Post by Teil Silverstein [ I first encountered Sanford Biggers by way of the video documentation of his work Mandala of the B-Bodhisattva II (2000). Wow. I was entranced. B-boys spinning in an ecstatic hip hop competition across a breakdance floor, fashioned after a Buddhist mandala. I wanted to know more about the guy who perceives the resonance between this urban cultural phenomenon and this ancient symbol, revealing the parallels of transcendent experience and visual rhythm.Then Sanford’s installation a small world… (2002) grabbed my attention. In a space that he decorated with 70s shag carpet and fake wood paneling, a video projection shows home movies of childhood, comparing his upbringing in an African-American family and the experience of his Jewish-American collaborator, artist Jennifer Zackin. The quiet similarities of middle class childhood offer an interesting perspective on the strident identity politics in the 70s social sphere.Sanford’s work connects the dots between disparate realms: sacred and secular, historical and contemporary, horrific and serene, engaged and contemplative. I’m eager to see how it all comes together for his project commissioned by the Office for the Arts, which will be on view through Dec. 2 in the Memorial Hall transept.Find out more...Sanford Bigger's website

[Caption: Sanford Biggers on his inspiration]