Digital video (shot on 16mm film) ,7 minutes, 2012

Sound collage: Janie Geiser
Sound Mix: Kari Rae Seekins

From a set of photographs found in a thrift store, Geiser creates a liminal space between representation and abstraction, figure and landscape, fiction and memory.  ARBOR suggests the fragility and ephemerality of memory and its artifacts through subtle manipulations of the photographs: reframings, layerings, inversions, and the introduction of dimensional elements, including flowers and leaves. The photographs’ subjects rarely engage the camera; they are glimpsed, rather than seen. They look elsewhere, and wait for something inevitable.  Gathering on a hillside, lounging on the grass beyond now-lost trees, the inhabitants of ARBOR cycle through their one elusive afternoon, gradually succumbing to time or dissolving into landscape, reserving for themselves what we can’t know—and becoming shadows in their own stories.

From Genevieve Yue’s REVERSE SHOT review of the 2012 views from the Avant Garde:

“Janie Geiser’s Arbor (2012), made from a set of found photographs, also produces a sense of ghostly apparition. She doubles the images of men and women, people unknown to Geiser, over themselves as they recline on a broad lawn, distorts them through various lenses and sheets of transparent paper, and finally erases their figures and replaces them with the grass around them. No traces of their bodies remain. This return to nature, so to speak, also haunts the media of film and photography. As Arbor hauntingly illustrates, both share a shadowy condition in which, as Roland Barthes has argued, the presences recorded by a camera are, by the time of their viewing, inevitably gone.”

Selected Screening History:

New York International Film Festival Views from the Avant-Garde (2012)
London International Film Festival Experimenta (2012)
China Art Objects (single channel video installation) 2013
Oberhausen Film Festival (2013)
FilmFest Dresden (2016)

Janie GeiserArbor