Andrea Geyer

ANEMOI, 2019

to those who insist on community —

The New School Centennial Art Commission

ABOUT THIS PROJECT

Anemoi is the 14th permanent site-specific work by Andrea Geyer commissioned by The New School Art Collection. The work consists of a modular, multi-sited installation with a website component. It celebrates individuals who self-identify today, or at some point in their lives identified or were identified as women or female a well as those individuals who identify today as trans*, and who have dedicated themselves to create and maintain community at The New School. Specifically, Anemoi recognizes those who in one-on-one meetings, in offices, in hallways, in groups, and in classrooms have steadfastly fostered a generous environment of care and respect. It pays tribute to the ways in which their labor in uniting students, faculty, and staff has given rise to new ways of thinking and learning not yet imagined by the educational mission of the institution.

The project takes the name Anemoi from the wind gods of ancient Greek mythology. A steady, untamable force, wind brings air and life with it. Coming from and leading to all cardinal directions, Anemoi points to the vast expansiveness of The New School’s community and materializes the potent connections and histories these individuals promote—connections that can be fleeting in the fast pace of the university’s academic cycles yet are at the core of the institution at large.

When completed in the spring of 2020, Anemoi will consists of a group of twenty photo-based portraits made from aluminum leaf and wool felt framed in bleached wall nut. Hexagonal-shaped, these portraits can be linked to one another in a modular hive-like arrangement and reconfigured in varied constellations. In addition, single portraits from the work will be available for installation in the university’s less public spaces throughout the university. This flexibility invites viewers to imagine the works’ infinite growth throughout the space of the institution. Accordingly, Anemoi reaches into The New School’s pasts as well as its possible futures, honoring those who create the winds that insist on community in perpetuity.

Individuals portrayed in this work were identified through a community survey and were active between 1990-2020. The selection of those pictured in the physical works is based on the number of times an individual is proposed by others, as well as the artists impression of the significance of their contributions to community building at the university. Yet is important to state that it is beyond the scope of this artwork to represent everyone whose work makes community possible at The New School. Because of that the artist dedicates Anemoi to everyone who works tirelessly at the university to create community, if they are pictured in the work or not. Those pictured will always only be a small fraction of those doing this important work. Refusing notions of comprehensiveness, the work invites viewers instead to actively and continuously recall names and project faces of those they know of, who did this work in the past, who are doing it right now and who will do it into the university’s future, and through this project imagining a continuous web of portrays reaching into all spaces of The New School.

This website functions as an integral part of the work. It serves as an archive extending and accessible beyond the physical space of The New School and temporal frame within which this project was conceived. On this site, viewers are invited to learn about the individuals portrayed in the installed works as well as the growing number of others who were named the survey. The community survey linked below will remain active until February 2020 so that students, faculty, and staff can continue to recommend individuals for inclusion on the website and/or as potential future portraits which will be completed by May 2020.

ABOUT THE ARTIST

Geyer’s work ranges across multiple media, incorporating text, photography, painting, sculpture, video and performance. It explores the complex politics of time and memory, with a particular focus on those who identify or at some point were identified as woman. In her work, she continuous to find ways to re-materialize the entanglement of presence and absence created by ideologically driven omissions in archives and histories through a process of performatively un-sensing time. From her early investigations into urban environments, cultural landscapes and notions of citizenship and nationhood in the U.S. as well as her native Germany to more recent research into women’s contributions to modernism, Geyer’s work continuously seeks to create spaces that offer re-orientation(s) of the past towards the urgency of a present moment.

Geyer’s work has been exhibited widely at institutions including San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in California; The Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, Artists Space and White Columns, in New York City; Contemporary Art Museum Houston, Houston, Texas; A Space Gallery, Toronto, Canada; KINDL – Centre for Contemporary Art, Berlin, Germany, the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin; Red Cat and LACE, in Los Angeles; Tate Modern and Serpentine Gallery, London; Kunstmuseum St.Gallen, Switzerland; Göteborgs Konsthall, Gothenburg, Sweden; Generali Foundation and Secession, Vienna; Museum der Moderne, Salzburg; Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, New Zealand; the Turin Biennale; the São Paulo Biennial; and dOCUMENTA (12), Kassel, Germany. International public collections with Geyer’s work include the Museum of Modern Art, NY, USA; the Whitney Museum of American Art, NY, USA; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, CA, USA; La Colección Jumex, Mexico City, Mexico; Neue Galerie, MHK, Kassel; the Museum der Moderne, Salzburg, Austria; and the Federal Collection of Germany. She is represented by Hales Gallery New York and Galerie Thomas Zander, Cologne. Geyer is an Associate Professor at Parsons Fine Arts, The New School.