Janie Geiser


JANIE GEISER is an internationally recognized visual/theater artist and experimental filmmaker, whose work is known for its investigation of the emotional power of inanimate objects. Her films have been screened at museums and festivals internationally, including the MOMA, LACMA and the Whitney Museum; the New York Film Festsival, Rotterdam Film Festival, Hong Kong International Film Festival, London International Film Festival. One of the pioneers of the renaissance of American avant-garde object performance, Geiser creates innovative, hypnotic works that integrate a singular visual aesthetic, puppets, film/video and performing objects.

2020 Screenings and Press

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Microscope Gallery

Reverse Shadow + The Nervous Films

DESISTFILM: Snippets of a Conversation with Janie Geiser about Reverse Shadow—Jose Sarmiento Hinojosa

Cineinfinito #127 Barcelona September 17, 2020

Cineinfinito #128 Barcelona September 22, 2020


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2019 Solo Screenings and Press

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Here are links to selected solo screenings and residencies in 2019:

Atlantic Center for the Arts, Master Artist in Residence


National Gallery of Art: Artist Talk and Solo Screening

Wexner Center for the Arts

Double Vision: Recent Shorts by Janie Geiser


Eyeworks Festival of Experimental Animation Featured Artist


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2017 Screenings, Performances and Press

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FILM AT REDCAT PRESENTS     Monday October 16 at 8:30 pm

Double Vision   Recent films by Janie Geiser

tickets: https://www.redcat.org/event/double-vision-recent-films-janie-geiser

In person: Janie Geiser

“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, RES

Janie Geiser’s acclaimed collage films delve deeply into the realm of waking dreams, weaving fragments of sounds and moving images into mysterious, elliptical narratives at the edge of logic and memory. Geiser is a master of minimal means. Her work recontextualizes outmoded images and photographs, arcane objects, and forgotten popular culture, releasing us into a sensual undercurrent of textures—the anteroom of suspended time.

Double Vision is a series of 7 recent, including five Los Angeles premieres: Kriminalistik (2014), Silent Sister (2015), Cathode Garden (2015), Flowers of the Sky (2016) and Look and Learn (2017); as well as Geiser’s films Arbor (2012) and The Hummingbird Wars (2013).

Janie Geiser’s work “prowls around the mysterious boundary-land between territories–like the lands of the conscious and the unconscious mind, or life and death, sanity and madness, hope and despair, animate and inanimate, nature and culture. From these uncanny in-between zones, her projects send back mysterious intelligence about the roiling nether lands we largely fear to traverse alone. Geiser is a guide to the other side, wherever that ‘other’ might be.   -– Holly Willis, KCET Artbound

Named one of the world’s top avant-garde filmmakers on Film Comment’s “Best of the Decade” list, Janie Geiser works in multiple disciplines, including film, installation, puppetry, visual art, sound, and performance, often working and reworking fragments of discarded materials. Janie is on the faculty of the School of Theater at CalArts, and her work has been recognized with a Doris Duke Artist Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and an OBIE Award. Her films have screened at the Whitney, the Guggenheim, MOMA, the Centre Pompidou, Pacific Film Archives, and at major film festivals in New York, Rotterdam, London, Oberhausen, Vienna, Toronto, and Hong Kong.

Website: www.janiegeiser.com

From the Press:

“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.”—Genevieve Yue REVERSE SHOT

“…Geiser’s experimental object performance films are intensely adult ruminations on mature fears and anxieties. Using both handmade puppets and forgotten playthings, Geiser constructs a strange world of reflection and tactility to play out themes of death, sickness and the passing of time.”—IndieWire

Janie Geiser’s The Hummingbird Wars (2014) is a dense collage comprising nineteenth-century photographs of stage actors, theater makeup, Japanese masks, flowers in various states of decay, an autobiographical text, and a World War I first-aid book. Unveiled via a dynamic deployment of cutout black mattes, whose flitting about the frame perhaps mimes that of the titular hummingbird, the images are both free-associative and recurrent, complicated through each new, interlocking cluster, as well as by an equally evocative audio track. Like the artist making her way through the paradoxical interrelations of history, art, and consciousness, the hummingbird gently traverses the clash of images that flesh out Geiser’s mesmerizing tapestry.”

– Tony Pipilo, Artforum, reviewing NYFF Projections 2014.

Janie Geiser’s gift for cutting between private, encoded images to create dense montages that defy ready interpretation, as vibrant as ever in Cathode Garden.”Tony Pipilo, Artforum

This screening is Funded in part by the Ostrovsky Family Fund. Curated by Steve Anker and Bérénice Reynaud as part of the Jack H. Skirball Series.

 Janie Geiser wishes to thank the Doris Duke Artist Award and the CalArts Faculty Development Fund for their support of this work.

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The Hummingbird Wars (2014)

REDCAT | THE ROY AND EDNA DISNEY/CALARTS THEATER is located at 631 West 2nd Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012 – at the corner of 2nd and Hope Streets inside the Walt Disney Concert Hall complex. Parking is available in the Walt Disney Concert Hall parking structure and at adjacent lots. Unless otherwise specified, tickets are $12 for the general public, $9 for members. Tickets may be purchased by calling 213.237.2800 or at www.redcat.org or in person at the REDCAT Box Office on the corner of 2nd and Hope Streets (30 minutes free parking with validation). Box Office Hours: Tue-Sat | noon–6 pm and two hours prior to curtain.






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Doris Duke Artist Award

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In May 2016, I was honored to be among 21 performing artists to receive a 2016 Doris Duke Artist Award.  

This award (which came as a total surprise to me) is awarded through an anonymous nomination and panel process.  Links to information about all of the 2016 Doris Duke Artist Award recipients can be accessed here.  We all met during a two day orientation session in New York in June, hosted by the Doris Duke Performing Artist Award staff in the offices Creative Capital.

The Doris Duke Performing Artist Awards program was created “to empower, invest in and celebrate artists by offering flexible, multi-year funding as a response to financial and funding challenges both unique to the performing arts and to each grantee. The Doris Duke Artist Awards make a commitment to “individual artists in contemporary dance, jazz, theatre, and related interdisciplinary work who had proven their artistic vitality and commitment to their field. The Doris Duke Artist Award is not a lifetime achievement award, nor a “genius” grant. The Award represents a deeper investment in the potential of dedicated artists, empowering them through the freedom of unrestricted support while celebrating past achievement.”

The Doris Duke Performing Artist Awards program is part of the larger Doris Duke Performing Artists Initiative—a commitment on the part of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation to recognize the potential of individual artists and insure their future viability, in the core fields of the performing arts supported by Doris Duke during her lifetime.


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