Kendell Geers, Poetic Justice,
1999, scaffold, wires, video equipment, video projection (installation
the Artists: Kendell Geers
1: I am from
Pittsburgh and CAN'T wait for your visit on February 12th. You challenge
the way I experience 'art'. It is a gift you possess and share
(thankfully). My question is simple...what films were the 3 video clips
active in Poetic Justice taken from?
a rule i prefer not to speak about the films that my clips have been
extracted from since the viewer tends to then get stuck on that film and
does not make the effort to get involved with the work of art. many of the
films are so banal and so mainstream that when you discover what they are
its usually a big surprise because the scene that has been trapped in my
work passed by often in a matter of seconds and was forgotten as fast. for
me art is a way of re-looking at the world we live in and the way we see
things. if you remember the film or the scene you have a slightly
different but as valid experience of the work as if you do not.
2: I am very
interested to know why you chose commercial movie clips as your main
visual medium? And also did you choose the auditory samples to match the
visual clips or is it the soundtracks from the movie?
donít work exclusively with commercial film clips - this project was
specific and my decision to use this material in pittsburgh was based on
the context of the city itself. when i was invited to produce a work of
art for a city that i had never before visited i started watching all the
films i could that were either made in or about pittsburgh i order to get
a sense of the social and cultural space of the city. the soundtracks are
developed for their overall quality once all the television sets and
speakers are turned on - i think of it as an orchestra where one
soundtrack on its own makes no sense and needs to be listened to in the
sensory context of the work. the soundtracks are developed independently
from the image and in some instances are even more important than the
3: When did you
realize that you wanted to be an artist and what was the first work of art
a child growing up i never considered that i would ever be an artist - my
dream was to be a physicist. in my teens i began to consider the life of a
poet and finally through many twists of fate i made the decision that i
would become an artist when i was 18. its not really a conscious decision
but rather the way life forces one into such a vocation. being an artist
is never a job - its more of an obsession for its impossible to ever stop
making art whether you are awake or asleep, at work or even on holiday.
art is a drive stronger even than the will to live
4: What do you
think about the idea of censorship in the art world today?
am totally opposed to all forms of censorship in anyway whatsoever. for me
the obvious in your face censoring of ideas is unforgivable but there are
other forms of censorship that go unnoticed that are in my opinion as bad
and should also be guarded against. my work "poetic justice" has
for instance been the victim of precisely such censorship, performed in a
such a way that you would not realise it unless you looked closely.
5: If you didnít
have any monetary restraints and you could make anything you wanted, what
would that piece be?
|my constraints as an artist are rarely
financial - i believe that an artist should be able to produce something
compelling with any budget. in an ideal situation i would not have changed
been in more control of the sound and lighting levels.
Geers' CI:99/00 Page
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