This Week in New York Insider's Guide to Arts & Culture in New York City Since 2001




Hanna Schaich’s EVELYN is one of three of her works that will mark her New York debut on November 23

Microscope Gallery
4 Charles Pl. at Myrtle Ave.
Saturday November 23, free (suggested donation $6), 7:00

Earlier this year, Brooklyn-based visual artist Janet Biggs teamed up with French-born Montréal installation artist Aude Moreau on a dual show at Smack Mellon as part of the “Brooklyn/Montréal” cultural exchange. Now Biggs is collaborating with German artist Hanna Schaich on a one-night-only project November 23 at Microscope Gallery in Bushwick. The evening will consist of three short films by Schaich, in her New York debut, and two by Biggs, selected by Schaich, followed by an in-depth conversation. The two works by Biggs, Brightness All Around and In the Cold Edge, were both shot during trips to the Arctic and investigate individual identity amid unique, dangerous environments. “There is clearly a performative side to my work that has to do with me physically and psychologically pushing myself or assuming some kind of risk in order to capture the images and action needed for a piece,” Biggs told us in a 2011 twi-ny talk. “I didn’t realize I was such a thrill seeker until I set out to make this kind of work. This part of my process is compelling enough that I often find myself looking for new challenges, although my exploration of the addictive nature of risky behavior is primarily as a witness to someone else’s action and off-camera.”


Janet Biggs fires a warning shot in the frozen north in her short film IN THE COLD EDGE

Schaich, who was born and raised in Berlin but is now based in Brooklyn as well, will be showing Evelyn, a portrait of an elderly woman going for a swim in a pool; Taking Over, which involves an ice-cream truck and an ice-skating rink; and Falling Into, which also deals with ice skating (and the Central Park Zoo). The latter two films evoke Biggs’s journeys to freezing zones, finding a common language between the filmmakers. “My artistic work focuses on body-related video performances and installations,” Schaich explains in her official artist statement. “My body is my tool in my artwork and takes up a large and important part of my conceptual work. Paradoxical action sequences and storylines, and playing with gender and gender roles, are key to my work.” Schaich and Biggs met earlier this year and have become fast friends, so this should be an intimate, fun, and fascinating evening.

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