Video artist Michelle Handelman talks about her newest works: Irma Vep, The Last Breath and Dorian, A Cinematic Perfume.
Geo Wyeth discusses first experience with video in Kitchen Steve Project and examines the relationship between technology and performance.
In his studio, Geo Wyeth shows me a cruddy talking doll named Cricket. He found her in a thrift store and rigged her with a microphone running through effects pedals. Cricket’s mouth moves stiffly, and as Wyeth turns knobs, her chatter becomes menacing. He laughs and looks pleased while I stare, alarmed.
There’s a thread of frenetic experimentation through Wyeth’s work, performance or otherwise. He invents characters played by puppets or himself—one ongoing role, Kitchen Steve, is a neurotic exhibitionist wearing an apron and three-foot stuffed dong. Add Wyeth’s virtuosic piano playing and songwriting, and his events are one-man spectacles that dash from comic, to sinister, to agonizingly serious.
Judith Shimer You just got back from a Yaddo residency a few days ago. What were you working on up there?
Geo Wyeth Mostly Kitchen Steve Project; I made a bunch of videos for him. I made a set in my studio, and a sculptural prosthetic puppet thing for him. I did these improvisational piano exercises that helped me think about my own process and how my background as a piano player and my relationship to the piano has affected my work and why I do what I do.