In the second work of the trilogy, In the Cold Edge, Biggs delves more deeply into the issues of isolation and vulnerability. In filming this piece, Biggs followed the video’s subject deep into a beautiful yet terrifying ice cave. The viewer can feel the massive weight of the ice above in the dangerous and claustrophobic tunnels. Shimmering stalactites and gravity-defying ice formations, lit only by the explorers’ headlamps, generate a dual sense of awe and intimidation. The relief felt by the viewer as the explorer emerges into the open Arctic space is quickly quelled, though, as the reality of the landscape’s vast emptiness begins to seep in. In the Cold Edge ends with Biggs herself shooting a flare into the vast Arctic sky, both an act of aggressive assertion and a cry for help with absolutely no one to hear it.

Janet Biggs: In the Cold Edge

In the Cold Edge (video still)

In the Cold Edge (video still), 2010

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