DETROIT — Let me begin by saying: I want to believe. Belief systems — be they based in religious, astrological, metaphysical, or deeply personal rituals — are coping mechanisms, helping to guide us through a world that feels, at times, full of forces beyond our control or comprehension. As the title of his installation at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD) — Subjective Cosmology — would suggest, artist Sanford Biggers also subscribes to the power of belief. His immersive, multimedia installations are animated and governed by a set of rules that connect existing belief systems and personal opinion, with different degrees of fluidity. The resulting tapestries of media and association quickly become overwhelming spectacles.
Biggers spun out some of these rules and regulations during an artist talk delivered on September 10, following opening night festivities — part of the kickoff for MOCAD’s fall programming lineup, which also includes experimental sculpture by Matthew Angelo Harrison. “Going back to the notion of power objects,” said Biggers, during his lecture, in reference to his early B-Bodhisattvawork, “the more powerful the object, the more it can also be obscured.” He makes declarations of this nature with such complete assurance, it takes a moment to realize that they are a set of imposed — rather than objective — truths.