Gallery opening of the week: Janet Biggs and Mary Coble at Conner Contemporary Art

Mary Coble's performance art piece at Conner Contemporary Art on Saturday will focus on the significance of water.
Mary Coble's performance art piece at Conner Contemporary Art on Saturday will focus on the significance of water. (Copyright Mary Coble/conner Contemporary Art)
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Friday, May 14, 2010

In Conner Contemporary Art's latest exhibitions, two artists immerse themselves in one hot-button topic: environmental resources and humans' simultaneous desire to exploit and preserve them.

In photos and video chronicling a trip to the Arctic, New York artist Janet Biggs (in her first show at Conner) depicts the icescape not as pristine but instead marked with the presence of humans.

It's D.C. artist Mary Coble who will give you reason to head to Saturday night's opening: For her show "Source," the artist -- who gained notoriety with identity-exploring performance works including one in which she had hateful terms etched into her skin with a tattoo needle -- again returns to her "endurance-based" methods. But this time, she will explore the significance of water, staging a performance piece in the gallery Saturday. To create the work, she collected water samples from the District's eight council wards; over the course of several hours, she will work to create one "communal" source.

The opening reception is Saturday from 6 to 8 p.m. Coble's performance begins at 2 p.m. and ends during the reception. Conner Contemporary Art, 1358-60 Florida Ave. NE. 202-588-8750. http://www.connercontemporary.com. Free. An after party will be at the Capitol Skyline Hotel, 10 I St. SW, from 9 p.m. to midnight; RSVP required by today to info@connercontemporary.com.

-- Lavanya Ramanathan


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