Andrea Geyer: Criminal Case

Posted by | Kelly M Shindler | Posted on | February 24, 2011

Thursday, February 24, 6:00 pm | Andrea Geyer in person!

Criminal Case 40/61: Reverb (Andrea Geyer, 2009-10). Courtesy the artist.
Criminal Case 40/61: Reverb (Andrea Geyer, 2009-10). Courtesy the artist.

In her striking, cerebral videos, installations, and photographs, German-born, New York-based artist Andrea Geyer mixes documentary and fiction to examine the ways historical narratives and social spaces shift over time and within larger socio-political contexts. Featured in tonight’s program is Criminal Case 40/61: Reverb (2009-10), which reenacts the 1961-62 trial of notorious Nazi criminal Adolf Eichmann in Jerusalem. Based on both court transcripts and Hannah Arendt’s book on the trial (Eichmann in Jerusalem: Report on the Banality of Evil), Geyer’s video abstracts the trial into six equally distinct roles — Accused, Defense, Judge, Prosecution, Reporter, and Audience — all performed by the same actor, artist (and SAIC alumnus) Wu Ingrid Tsang. Together, these fractions explore the trial’s lasting relevance. Geyer, writes art historian Johanna Burton, “opens up whole pockets of forgotten history and, in so doing, remobilizes calcified, regulated understandings.” 2009-10, Andrea Geyer, USA, HD Video, ca. 60 mins plus discussion.

ANDREA GEYER (b. 1971, Freiburg, Germany) lives and works in New York. She uses both fiction and documentary strategies in her image- and text-based art. Her works are temporal translations of specific social and political situations that address larger concepts such as national identity, gender, and class in the context of the ongoing re-adjustment of cultural meanings and social memories. Recent works include Criminal Case 40/61: Reverb, revisiting the trial of Adolf Eichmann in Jerusalem and Spiral Lands, a photographic and textual historiography of the ongoing dispossession of lands from indigenous people by colonization, governmentality, and capitalist development that constitutes one of the longest struggles for social justice in North America. Her work has been shown internationally, most notably at the 29th Sao Paulo Biennale, at UAG Gallery Irvine and documenta12 in Kassel. She is represented by Galerie Thomas Zander/Cologne.

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