Conner Contemporary Art Presents Janet Biggs and Wilmer Wilson IV in Two Solo Shows.

By Editorial Team on March 13, 2012
Janet Biggs: A Step on the Sun (still) 2012: 5-channel video + single channel video. Image Courtesy of Conner Contemporary Art.



Opening Reception Saturday, Saturday, March 17th: 6-8pm.Wilson performance runs 5-8pm.
Conner Contemporary Art announces two concurrent solo exhibitions featuring new video by Janet Biggs (New York, NY) and performance and sculpture by Wilmer Wilson IV (Washington, DC). Kawah Ijen is Biggs’ second solo exhibition with the gallery; “Domestic Exchange” is Wilson’s inaugural exhibition with the gallery.

Janet Biggs

Conner Contemporary Art presents Janet Biggs’s Kawah Ijen featuring a new multi-channel installation – A Step on the Sun– and a single-channel video by the same name. Biggs has achieved international renown working in extreme on-site conditions and maximizing cinematic techniques to create stunning interpretations of human strength in extraordinary environments.

In A Step On the Sun, the artist focuses on hardships overcome by a sulfur miner in the Ijen volcano, in the East Java province of Indonesia. Biggs’s video centers around a crater situated almost two miles above sea level, which houses the world’s largest sulfuric lake. We watch as the miner collects hardened sulfur crystals and packs them into a basket. Amid clouds of toxic sulfur dioxide gas, he carries heavy loads up a steep, rocky path from the crater floor to the rim, then to a distant weigh-station. The footage confronts us with a provocative mixture of natural beauty and human exploitation.

Biggs subverts documentary structure, portraying co-existing but colliding worlds in a faceted narrative wherein she juxtaposes the sulfur mining scenes with National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration photos of an experimental weather balloon launch. The pictorial array is accompanied by a soundtrack of noises recorded inside the volcanic mine which is punctuated by cello and violin passages commissioned by the artist. A Step on the Sun adds a poetic voice to ongoing discussions on bio-politics and global-humanism.

Janet Biggs will lecture at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden on Thursday, March 15, 2012, at 8pm.

Biggs work may be seen currently in “Videonale: Dialog in Contemporary Video Art”, at the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts through February 2012. The artist has had recent solo exhibitions at The Mint Museum of Art, Charlotte, NC and the Tampa Museum of Art, Tampa, FL and will show at the Musée d’art Contemporain de Montréal in the Fall of 2012.

Wilmer Wilson IV

Conner/*gogo art projects also presents Wilmer Wilson IV’s Domestic Exchange. In this new work, the artist engages issues of identity and race by appropriating the brown paper bag as a cultural symbol identified with bag lunches, alcohol and skin color. Wilson amassed dozens of inflated bags to construct a monumental sculpture with undulating, fleshy forms. On the opening day of the exhibition, from 5 to 8pm, Wilson will present a durational performance: From My Paper Bag Colored Heart. Exploring the history of the paper bag as an indicator of racial color, Wilson enacts a liminal struggle between freedom and self-destruction.

There will be an opening night reception, Saturday, May 17h from 6 to 8pm. Artists in attendance.
Wilmer Wilson’s performance will begin at 5pm on Saturday, March 17th and culminate during the opening reception (6-8pm).

Gallery Hours:

  • Tuesday to Saturday 10-5pm

Conner Contemporary Art is located at 1358 Florida Avenue, NE –Washington, DC 20002. For further information or images, please contact the gallery @ 202-588-8750 or

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