artist directory

artist directory

Janie Geiser

location: Los Angeles, California

“Geiser shares with filmmakers such as Jan Svankmajer the rare ability to make children’s toys and seemingly innocent objects … resonate with the most unsettling, arcane, and adult fears.  Better still, 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, 2004)

News! JANIE GEISER  awarded a 2016 Doris Duke Artist Award.

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, its sense of mystery, and its strength of design. 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.  Geiser has been recognized with an a Guggenheim Fellowship, an OBIE Award, and funding the Rockefeller Foundation, the Henson Foundation, Creative Capital, Jerome Foundation, MAPfund, the Center for Cultural Innovation, and a 2011 Fellowship for Visual Artists from the California Community Foundation. 

Geiser’s films have been screened at the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Guggenheim Museum, MOMA, Pacific Film Archives, the Centre Pompidou, the Salzberg Museum, San Francisco MOMA, LACMA, and at 9 New York Film Festivals, the Rotterdam International Film Festival, the Toronto Film Festival, the London International Film Festival, and more. Geiser’s films are in the permanent collection of MOMA, and her film The Red Book was selected for inclusion in the Smithsonian's National Film Registry. 

For links to recent films and performance excerpts, click here.





ARBOR, 2012
5" x 7"
Still from film


Digital fim (shot on 16mm)

Sound collage: Janie Geiser

7 minutes (2012)

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 natural 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.