Vanishing Point (2009) is set in the otherworldly environs of Utah’s Bonneville Salt Flats. It features motorcycle racer Leslie Porterfield, who survived serious injury in 2008 only to return the following year to break the speed record by reaching 234 miles per hour in the run Biggs captured. Early shots of Porterfield are juxtaposed with footage of Harlem’s Addicts Rehabilitation Center Gospel Choir, directed by its founder, James Allen. As the racer hurtles out of sight, the choir sings a composition containing many double entendres. For example, powerful soloist Carol Grayson-Johnson sings, “I’m seeking control, Lord, steer me toward a different path, where speed means freedom of the soul.” Transcendence is implied in both the racer’s extreme focus and in the less obvious struggle to overcome addiction in its many guises.
Single channel video (9:22 minutes)
Music in collaboration with Barney McAll and Harlem’s Addicts Rehabilitation Center Gospel Choir
Courtesy of the Artist and Conner Contemporary Art, Washington, D.C.