Janie Geiser is a multidisciplinary artist whose practice includes cinema, performance, and installation. Geiser’s work is known for its recontextualization of abandoned images and objects, its embrace of artifice, and its investigation of memory, power, and loss.
“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
A pioneer of the renaissance of American avant-garde puppet theater, Geiser creates innovative, hypnotic live performances that integrate performing objects and projection. Her performance works have been presented at The Public Theater, St. Ann’s Warehouse, REDCAT, The Walker Art Center, CalArts Center for New Performance (CNP), LaMama, the Wende Museum, and other venues.
Geiser was the recipient of the 2023 Brakhage Vision Award, awarded to one avant-garde filmmaker annually. The Museum of the Moving Image presented a 3 program retrospective of Geiser’s films in 2023, and her work was also the subject of a 2023 retrospective in Mexico City.
Geiser’s films have been presented at the National Gallery of Art, MOMA, LACMA, the Guggenheim, the Whitney Museum, Pacific Film Archive, Wexner Center, Centre Pompidou, Strasbourg Museum, Microscope Gallery, and others. Festivals include the NY Film Festival, Toronto Film Festivals, Hong Kong International Film Festival, London International Film Festival, Rotterdam Film Festival, the Viennale, San Francisco Film Festival, and others.
Geiser’s film The Red Book was selected for the 2009 National Film Registry of the Library of Congress, and her films are in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art, Berkeley Art Museum Pacific Film Archive, the Academy Film Archive, and the Austrian Film Museum. Geiser’s single and multi-channel installations have been presented in galleries from Los Angeles to Tokyo.
A Guggenheim Fellow, Geiser’s work has been recognized with a Doris Duke Artist Award, an OBIE Award, and with grants and fellowships from Creative Capital, the Rockefeller Foundation, NEA, Center for Cultural Innovation, MapFund, and others. She is a 2018 MacDowell Fellow.
Geiser is a founder and co-director of Automata, an artist-run nonprofit in Chinatown.