CalArts School of Theater faculty Janie Geiser brings her collage film program “Double Vision” to REDCAT on Monday, Oct. 16 at 8:30 p.m.
A collection of seven of her works, “Double Vision” explores the realm of waking dreams; she recontextualizes old photos, imagery, objects and ephemera to create otherworldly narratives. The screening program includes 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 “Arbor” (2012) and “The Hummingbird Wars” (2013).
Geiser, a recipient of the 2016 Doris Duke Artist award, has had her films screened at the Whitney, the Guggenheim, MOMA, the Centre Pompidou, Pacific Film Archives, and major film festivals both nationally and internationally. In 2009, her film “The Red Book” (1994) was selected as one of the 25 motion pictures that will be preserved as cultural, artistic and/or historical treasures as part of the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress.
In 2015, IndieWire proclaimed that Geiser among the 6 Avant-Garde Female Filmmakers Who Redefined Cinema. Author Aubrey Page writes of the artist:
“Move over, ‘Anomalisa.’ While the idea of animation and stop-motion often offers up images of innocence and happiness, 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. Geiser’s films exist somewhere between dreams and materialism, and her enthralling, if unsettling use of objects in films like ‘Ghost Algebra’ and ‘Ultima Thule’ play with the intrinsic meanings of objects and the private lives we project onto them. In the tradition of uncanny animators like Jan Svenkmajer, Geiser’s films are astonishing visions of alternate realities combining puppetry, video and performance.
In addition to filmmaking and teaching at CalArts, Geiser is a founder and co-artistic director of Automata, a space in Downtown Los Angeles dedicated to the creation, presentation and preservation of puppet and object performance, experimental film and music, pre-cinematic attractions, and other lost and neglected forms.
Geiser will be in attendance at Monday’s REDCAT screening to discuss her work.
REDCAT is located at 631 W. 2nd St., downtown Los Angeles. Tickets are $6-$12.
– MacKenzie Rasmus, with Christine N. Ziemba