Artist Sanford Biggers will be in conversation with artist and Rail contributor Yasi Alipour. We’ll conclude with a poetry reading from Isabel Sobral.
In this talk
Sanford Biggers (b. 1970) was raised in Los Angeles and currently lives and works in New York City. His work is an interplay of narrative, perspective and history that speaks to current social, political and economic happenings while also examining the contexts that bore them. His diverse practice positions him as a collaborator with the past through explorations of often overlooked cultural and political narratives from American history. Working with antique quilts that echo rumors of their use as signposts on the Underground Railroad, he engages these legends and contributes to this narrative by drawing and painting directly onto them. In response to ongoing occurrences of police brutality against Black Americans, Biggers’ BAM series is composed of bronze sculptures recast from fragments of wooden African statues that have been anonymized through dipping in wax and then ballistically ‘resculpted’. Following a residency as a 2017 American Academy Fellow in Rome, the artist recently began working in marble. Drawing on and playing with the tradition of working in this medium, Biggers creates hybridized forms that transpose, combine and juxtapose classical and historical subjects to create alternative meanings and produce what he calls “future ethnographies”. As creative director and keyboardist, he fronts Moon Medicin, a multimedia concept band that straddles visual art and music with performances staged against a backdrop of curated sound effects and video. Moon Medicin performed at Open Spaces Kansas City in October 2018 and at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. in 2019.
Yasi Alipour (Columbia University, MFA 2018) is an Iranian artist/writer/folder who currently lives in Brooklyn and wonders about paper, politics, and performance. She is a teacher at Columbia University and SVA and is currently a resident at the Sharpe Walentas Studio program.
The Rail has a tradition of ending our conversations with a poem, and
we’re fortunate to have
Isabel Sobral Campos is the author of several books of poetry and chapbooks, most recently “How to Make Words of Rubble/.” Her poetry has appeared in the Boston Review, Brooklyn Rail, and elsewhere. She is the co-founder of the Sputnik & Fizzle publishing series.