Janie Geiser is a multidisciplinary 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, its investigation of memory, and its sense of suspended time. Geiser’s work has been recognized with a Doris Duke Artist Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, an OBIE Award, and funding from Creative Capital, the Rockefeller Foundation, NEA, Center for Cultural Innovation, Durfee Foundation, MapFund, and other foundations.
“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).
Geiser’s films have been screened at the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Guggenheim Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, Pacific Film Archives, the Centre Pompidou, the Salzburg Museum, San Francisco MOMA, LACMA, the Sharjah Biennial, the New York Film Festival, the Rotterdam International Film Festival, the Toronto Film Festival, the London International Film Festival, and the Hong Kong International Film Festival, among others.
Geiser’s films are in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, The New York Public Library's Donnell Media Center, and the California Institute of the Arts, among others. Geiser’s film The Red Book was selected for inclusion in the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress. The Archive of the Academy of Motion Pictures has selected her body of work for preservation, and her film The Fourth Watch (2000) was selected by Film Comment as one of the top ten experimental films of the past decade.
One of the pioneers of the renaissance of American avant-garde puppet theater, Geiser creates innovative, hypnotic performances and installations that integrate performing objects, puppets, and projection. Her work has been presented at The Public Theater, St. Ann’s Warehouse, Redcat, The Walker Art Center, and other venues.
Geiser’s 2014 exhibit at China Art Objects in Los Angeles, Object Permanence, featured single channel films and photographs. She was awarded a 2011 California Community Foundation Fellowship for Visual Artists, and a 2006 City of Los Angeles Artist Fellowship for her installation The Spider’s Wheels, which featured a large mechanical projection box, and her recent installation Look and Learn, Parts 1 and 3 was presented at the Knoxville Museum of Art. Her book The Tornado Treaty is in MOMA’s Artists Book Collection. Geiser currently lives in Los Angeles, where she is on the faculty at CalArts.