Last summer, we caught up with Georgia Wall during her residency at ACRE last summer and briefly asked her about what she was working on in the video below. The New York-based artist, who was previously featured on Make Space back in October, gives us a look into her practice and experience last summer at ACRE Residency in Wisconsin.
On collecting and process:
With my video work collecting is a large part of the process. I collect material based on impulse and then later consider what the gathered material might create when placed together. Some collected material remains personal and never makes its way into the final product, or even into the context of the ‘studio,’ but I also am sometimes surprised by what collected footage ends up feeling integral to the work. I have been very interested recently in how material that I collect on the day to day can move between documentation of my life and material for my work. This slippage is important in the way I approach my practice and think about my role as a women and maker.
An old professor of mine, Matthew Goulish, used to use the terms “major practice” and “minor practice.” The idea is that one always has their ‘major practice’ the work that is driving your practice and the questions you engage with in your work. The ‘minor practice’ are the smaller projects, sometimes more short term, that one works on along side the ‘major’ work. Both are necessary and both inform one another. I feel very much that I work in this way. I accept invitations or work collaboratively on projects that I consider in order to make up my ‘minor practice.’ These opportunities often influence and offer clarity for the work I am doing on my ‘major’ more solo projects.
On material and research:
Time is a large part of the way I think about medium. I work in performance and video mostly and I think about both as events that take place over time. I hope to use time to create an experience in which something can shift or occur. If I can claim time as one of the important materials of my practice, I would also have to say that my relationship to editing is essential in my working with time. Manipulating and constructing the information I choose to provide in both my performance and video work comes out of a close consideration the edit. I use editing to highlight and address certain elements of the work while also actively concealing others.
Most of my research comes in the form of collecting. I like to think of my daily life as a place for research to happen. I like to listen to the radio, look at people while commuting, read theory, consider the students I teach, their interests and struggles, read fiction, talk to friends about feelings and ideas… all of these, along with many other things become the place where most of my research happens.
On space and site:
My performances are usually site-specific in that they respond very much to the location they are taking place in. I like to perform in non-traditional performance venues so the space of the kitchen, the hallway, the street outside a viewer’s window, the storage warehouse all impact the piece I create in that space. From the lighting to the actions performed, the space is constantly helping me make decisions. In my video pieces the spaces and geographies that I live amongst become the backdrop of the work. In this way, the spaces present in the videos are less constructed and perhaps might appear arbitrary but I feel they are essential in providing the specificity of location for the work.
Have you participated in residency programs before ACRE? If so, which ones, when and where?
I spent a month in a residency in Turkey, called Cura Bodrum in 2008.
What has your experience at ACRE been like? Has your experience at ACRE affected the work you are making in the studio now?
I spent a lot of time in the screen printing studio which was great because I had never had an opportunity to screen print before.
I think residencies are important in that they offer artists time to think about their work only. Most of the year I, and most of the artists I know, are juggling multiple jobs and responsibilities along side trying to make and think about their own work. The space, time and community provided by residencies is like a gift and helped me to spend some good time thinking about my practice without the distractions of life. I think having the time at ACRE helped me do some reflecting about the way I want to make. I did more thinking about making then making. I feel I had the ability to consider approach and how and where I would like my practice to fit into my life.