Montag, 17. September 2007

TESEO EDITORE Magazine (Italy) Interview Philipp Geist

Interview - TESEO EDITORE Magazine (Italy)
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Interview by Enrico Orsingher (english)

1) How important are the years you spent doing photography and painting for your present videoart?

My work as a painter and photographer is very important for my current videoworks. I have been working in three mediums so far. My paintings, photos and videoworks are connected with each other. They are based on one way of seeing and they inspire by one another. I started with photography at the age of 13. At 18 i started to paint and later i got into videowork.

2) What is the origin of your work? For example, “Time Lines”? Did you study the architecture of palace in rome before, or did you work with photographs, pictures, computergrafic models?

For my installation "Time Lines" I worked with a building file of the palazzo delle esposizioni. So I was able to develop the movies especially for the palazzo delle esposizioni. It's very site-specific. It's always very important to me to make kind of a dialogue with the architecture and the building. I also came to rome to get a closer look at the palazzo delle esposizioni a couple of weeks before the installation started.

3) Which kind of relationship does exist in your opera between image and sound?

I basically focused on my videoworks, but the choice of music also played an important role. For the installation I chose contemporary electronic ambient music. It fits very well to the concept of my "Time Lines" installation, because it represents one of its contemporary aspects. Fragments of antique sculptures and ancient buildings are combined with contemporary sounds.

4) What do you believe is specific in your video installations? What is your “signature”?

It's hard for an artist to describe his or her own work. But i guess my signature is the specific use of colours, of blurring and abstractions . The compositions are often very poetic and subtle. I like to do different projects, for example live visual performances with musicians or projections on buildings.

5) Through your works, do you prefer to surprise your audience or stimulate conceptual meditations? – It seems to me that you are interested mostly in the people's emotions -

The emotions of the audience are very important. When the audience is touched by an art work , it's great! It makes the people think about it. I guess that creating emotions is a very important effect art has on the audience. The palazzo has temporarily got a new face, and maybe some onlookers during the notte bianca will have a new feeling about the building when they pass it in the future.

6) You have represented your works in many different countries. Did you remark any difference in people's feedback in the different places (for example Chile and Canada, Spain and Germany…)?

Maybe there are differences, but the visitors` reactions primarily depend on the work and on the place where my art is shown. As I have done many different kinds of projects, the situations and the audiences vary. In clubs the audience
does usually not concentrate very much on the work itself, but are distracted by many different experiences. In art places, galleries and museums the audience usually takes more time to experience the work and is also more focused.

7) What are your future projects?

I'm working on an ongoing project called Riverine. It's a water-video-installation. Currently it will be shown in amsterdam as a 12 channel video-installation. I had exhibited this work in a site-specific way in chicago, munich, berlin, amsterdam, dresden,... In rome I filmed the tevere (tiber) as well. Hopefully I can exhibit and develop this project in italia soon.

The following text will give you some first information on this project, but you will find more:
Riverine - Water-Video-Installation

In his video-room installation "Riverine Zones Connected", multimedia artist Philipp Geist displays video recordings and video stills from national and international rivers. Using underwater video cameras, Geist has filmed our immediate but simultaneously far-off reality beneath the surface. He creates images that are blurred, abstract, naturalistic, colourful or monochrome. Whether the recordings of urban rivers, small brooks, and vast rivers, which are always shown in equal proportion, are presented as video projection or on video monitors, and are supplemented with videostills, depends on the spatial conditions in place. By making visible garbage on the ground, drying out riverbeds and water pollution the art work confronts the visitor with ecological topics in a subtle and unusual way.

Some weeks ago I developed a multichannel installation with illustrations by Gustave Doré from 1866. He illustrated the epic poem "Paradise Lost" by John Milton. It's a kind of "video-remix" of the wonderful illustrations by Doré. It's part of the Illustrative exhibition in berlin and paris.

8) What did you think about your future job when you were a little boy? Which were your expectations?

As a child I wanted to have a fishing store. Then I wanted to be a nature photographer and then I wanted to be an artist. well, and here I am.