Romancing the Anthropocene curated by Ivan Jurakic and Crystal Mowry

The Arctic Trilogy, 2010

Janet Biggs - Brooklyn, USA

Video Installation

The Arctic Trilogy, 2011

Travel through ice clogged waters, past polar bears and under glacier walls. Descend into tunnels formed by ever-moving glaciers and follow a woman coal miner as she works in relentless darkness in Janet Biggs’ Arctic Trilogy.

Extended Project: Revisit this project between October 6 – 14.

View full project description

Janet Biggs’ Arctic Trilogy is comprised of three short videos, each featuring an individual searching for meaning at the end of the earth. Isolated and vulnerable, the characters in Biggs' videos struggle to define and defend their sense of self in extreme environments.

Fade to White
follows a solitary explorer as he paddles his kayak through ink-black waters, gliding past polar bears and under massive glaciers. These images are interspersed with ghostly appearances of performance artist John Kelly dressed in white, singing a Baroque aria. Kelly’s age, androgyny, and mournful voice parallel the vanishing Arctic landscape.

Brightness All Around takes us beneath the earth’s surface where coalminer Linda Norberg, works in freezing temperatures and relentless darkness. Biggs has enlisted performer Bill Coleman, dressed in black leather, to deliver a demonic chant to complement the hostile, industrial sounds of the mining.

In the Cold Edge
follows a spelunker as he descends into a glacier’s crevasse and crawls through claustrophobic ice tunnels. We follow his path as he explores the disorienting chambers formed by an ever-moving glacier. The video ends with a momentary eruption of colour and energy as Biggs shoots a flare off into a terrain as bleak and beautiful as the moon.

Suitable for all ages


Scotia Plaza, 15 Adelaide Street West

This project is both indoors and outdoors.