Andrea Geyer stages social interactions or navigations through (urban) spaces as sites of the production of culture and sources of our experience. Fictional elements and theoretical references, interviews and extensive research flow into her works, which pursue an interest in interpreting identities not as static, fixed images, but rather as flexible configurations. Her installations are intended to intervene in diverse mechanisms of verbal and visual control and regulation.
For the Secession, Andrea Geyer has developed the project Parallax. The mise-en-scène of Parallax is reminiscent of the atmosphere of a classroom. Chairs set up in rows in front of a projection wall offer visitors a seat to follow a slide lecture. Eight coordinated projectors create eight parallel images on the screen, which emerge one after another in sequences or compose one image.
The project revolves around the themes city, nation and citizenship and their role in creating individual and state spaces of action, taking the United States as an example.
The slides conjoin photographs, text excerpts from news papers and news agencies, and staged pictures that follow a protagonist. Just as the photographs establish a reference to a certain knowledge that says something about how the locations function, the introduction of the anonymous protagonist illustrates the relation of the individual to media information, to the state and its politics in an exemplary way. To a certain extent, the figure also embodies the question of how the anticipatory and emancipatory practices of acting subjects relate to actual political interrelations.
Text excerpts from American media such as The New York Times and The Associated Press document current discussions about the basic constitutional rights of democracy, migration processes, racism, and the increasing militarization of the economy and culture of the United States. The news reports often go beyond the actual communication of events and reveal themselves in Andrea Geyer’s arrangement as mechanisms and sites of the selection, interpretation and manipulation of information. Parallax raises the question of where and how the conservative reformulation/canalization of nationality and national identity can be countered with other spatial models.
In addition to the staged scenes with the protagonist, the photographs, which were all taken in the USA, show demonstrations against the deportment of American politics, against the US invasion of Iraq, but also demonstrations against domestic restrictions accompanying foreign policy aggression, such as changes in immigration laws and the surreptitious redefinition of the rights of citizens. Photographs of administrative situations such as courthouses, waiting rooms, libraries, but also the increasing presence of state executives, such as military and police, in American cities round out the narrative of the contradictoriness of US culture. Current US politics and their expression in the media stand as an example for global trends and serve Andrea Geyer for establishing a critical, emancipatory distance.
Geyer treats documentary and fiction equally. The newspaper excerpts are included in the slide sequence on an equal footing with the photographs. In Parallax, the artist shifts the narrative level to the visual level even more than in earlier works (e.g. Interim, Manifesta 4). This results in a fabric of information that creates a meta-level of information by conjoining all the parts. With this approach, the artist reveals the idea of the objectivity of the documentary as an illusion and unmasks this concept as part of the politics of representation.