Track 16 is pleased to present an exhibition of Janie Geiser’s multifaceted works of video projections, photography, and animatronics. Geiser’s work excavates the visual vocabulary we use to operate and construct our daily world. Geiser describes her new video installation Look and Learn Parts 2, 4, and 5, “In recent moving image work, I’ve been obsessed with unearthing possible and impossible narratives from found images. In Look and Learn Parts 2, 4, and 5, I rephotographed a series of found photographs—mainly 1950’s era school class photos – and juxtaposed them with a range of visual instructions (furniture assembly diagrams, how-to manuals, safety instructions, maps, etc), suggesting the sometimes-destructive influence of the adult-created structures that frame childhood and the practices of institutional learning.”
These 1950’s photographs, which place the students in unforgiving grids, suggest a more orderly time, when such instructions might actually be followed. As the three-channel installation progresses, the images are harder to grasp. The movement of the photos, along with other documentary photographs of anti-war and civil rights era protests, were filmed quickly under the camera, the images are barely legible. There are glimpses of faces, there is a sense of chaos, of a rushing forward and backwards, of time out of reach, of change that moves forward and then backwards—then, now, later.
Also showing: Photographs: Double Image and Falling Figure, a series of three motorized puppets.
Janie Geiser is an interdisciplinary artist whose practice includes performance, film, and installation. Geiser’s work is known for its recontextualization of abandoned images and objects, its embrace of artifice, and its investigation of memory, power, and loss. “Geiser gives voice to the reaches of the unconscious, pointing to the abandoned splendor that exists prior to the rules of society and language.” (—Holly Willis)
Geiser’s cinema have been presented at Redcat, the Whitney, MOMA, LACMA, the Guggenheim, the Berkeley Art Museum, the Wexner Center, the Walker Art Center, the Centre Pompidou, Strausbourg Museum, and at numerous festivals including the New York Film Festival, the Toronto Film Festival, the Hong Kong International Film Festival, London International Film Festival, Rotterdam International Film Festival, the Viennale, and more. Her film The Red Book was selected for the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress, and her films are in MOMA’s permanent collection. Her projected installations have been exhibited at in Los Angeles at POST, China Art Objects, Automata, LAMAG, and other sites.
One of the pioneers of the renaissance of American avant-garde puppet theater, Geiser creates works that integrate puppetry and projection. Her work has been recognized with an Obie Award and two Bessie Awards. A Guggenheim recipient, Geiser was awarded a 2016 Doris Duke Artist Award and has received funding from Creative Capital, MapFund, the Jim Henson Foundation, California Community Foundation, The Getty Villa, and a just completed a 2018 MacDowell Colony residency. Geiser currently lives and works in Los Angeles, where she also teaches in the School of Theater at CalArts.
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