We talk a lot about public space and its various concepts. But we always look at this space from a human perspective. In this performance, a permanent inhabitant of the public space comes to speak about this very space: A pigeon.
this wonderful public space,
in which I bathe in all freedom,
is for you a corset …”
How does the pigeon experience this space? What does it think about our concepts, ideas, and our approach to this space? And what advice does it have for us? Watch online.
Performance + video, 18:20min, 2022
Performer: Julien Deransy
Camera + editing: Thomas Julien
Comissioned and produced by CAC Brétigny/The Real Show
Photos by Elena Lespes Muñoz
Busts and statues are the constant observers of public space and its inhabitants. As such, they transcend different times and accumulate an enormous wealth of knowledge and experience. Thomas Geiger makes this potential available through his work Bust Talks and creates a new perspective on the present by giving voice to the past. Set up as a conversation between a bust and myself, Geiger investigate what the present might have in common with the past by questioning its witnesses.
Find the video here.
Performance + video, 20-25min, since 2019
Image No.4 by Marc Doradzillo / No.6 by Wiener Festwochen
Festival of Minimal Actions
To repeat a past action within a new context, means to create a new impact: As a Festival of Minimal Actions I re-perform existing works by other artists in public space. It follows the conviction that these works do not belong to the past but have the potential to unfold a new effect at any time. This shift of time, place and performing subject leads of course to a completely rediscovery of artworks and their meaning and thus encourages reflection on accessibility, reproducibility and authorship.
Performance project, since 2014
Brussels (beursschouwburg), 2014; Paris, 2015; San José (Despacio), 2018; Vienna (Kunsthalle Wien), 2020
Photos: Reperformances of works by Fredy Solano, Sergio Rojas Chaves, Javier Calvo, Pilar Quinteros, Adan Vallecillo.
A performance developed for CAC Brétigny / The Real Show: Three office chairs were placed in public space, one for a director, one for a curator and one for an assistant. I spent several hours trying to hire passersby to do one of these jobs for at least an hour. Their job: to do nothing. The hourly wage was the same as that of their colleagues at CAC Brétigny: Céline Poulin, director, Ariane Guyon, assistant, and Agnès Violeau, who conceived and curated the Real Show as an independent curator together with Céline Poulin.
The random constellations not only brought together different people, but also became a mirror of institutional structures and its economy.
Comissioned and produced by CAC Brétigny, 2022
I want to become a millionaire
For 11 years, I have been selling stamped, signed and numbered certificates out of an edition of 1.000.000 – for 1 Euro each. 46.400 of these sheets have already sold. Get yourself some of these sheets. What started as a street performance became the economic backbone of my artistic practice. I now believe that the principle of many poor collectors, as opposed to a few wealthy ones, is far more sustainable one. I am convinced that art should be a democratic good that is affordable for everyone. It can build bridges between people; helping to emphasize with others. The work also became a stage for economic experiments: Artist’s Sheets, Beggar’s Sheets and The Great Stockexchange
Ongoing economic performance, since 2010
A Talk Show hosted by Capitalism: Capitalism is in crisis, and nobody knows this better than capitalism itself. People talk about it a lot behind its back. But it also has redeeming qualities, or so at least it claims. Eager to get out of its present malaise, capitalism seeks out three people who might be of help. It goes to a hotel suite to meet with an Austrian psychoanalyst to discuss its fears and feelings. It tries to find admiration from a representant of the future generation: a child. And, in search of eternal answers, it visits a pastoral theologian in a church. Watch online
3 Performances, 25-40min
comissioned and produced by steirischer Herbst, 2020
Peeing in Public
A performance on the politics of public urination: The question of when, where and how to pee has been a preoccupation for all of us and, most importantly, since long ago. Together with his invited guests Rembrandt van Rijn, Samantha Fountain, George Jennings, Brae Carns, Ira Gessel, David Busch, Greg Kotis, Xi Jinping, and Emperor Vespasian, Thomas Geiger roams through the centuries and elaborates on the economical, (gender-)political, technological, and sexual dimensions of peeing in public. Watch online
Performance, 21:10min, Kunstverein Kevin Space, Vienna, 2021
There are many falling men (it seems always to be men) within the arts. A special subject, however, is the falling artist. This tradition does not begin with an artist, but with his son: Daidalos and Ikarus strapping on wax wings. Later there was Papageno on “The Magic Flute” putting on a feather-suit. Especially in the 20th century, the falling artist became a recurring theme in which hubris, failure and subconscious desires and fears are condense: “... even in our dreams we fall. The interpretation of dreams sees this as an expression of fear and loss of control. And Freud associates it with sexual inhibitions and the desire to finally let go.“ Watch video.
video, 2:06min, performer: Jan Pienitzsch, 2020
Some Great Europeans
Chandigarh is the earliest planned city in India, designed by Le Corbusier. As such, it is stamped with the modernist European visions of scientific rationalism, efficiency and social improvement through design. Some Great Europeans took place in front of the Art Museum, one of the Le Corbusier buildings. Visitors were invited to select an image from a series of photographs, all of which show public statues of some “great” Europeans and interpret it on an improvised pedestal. The freedom offered by parody, a moment in which history, monumentality, becomes theirs to interpret – to embody.
18-parted photo series, 30 × 45cm, 2019
Images: Mozart, Winston Churchill, Marie Curie, Miguel de Cervantes, Sissi
Comissioned by the Morni Hills Performance Biennale, 2019.
Private Monuments is a series of eight sculptures based on holes of missing bricks on public squares. As the positive forms of the original holes, they create fragments of public space within a new environment. Eight dedications can be found as instructions to activate these Private Monuments with momentary gestures that are an echo of the daily life on public squares.
7-parted sculpture series, various dimensions, 2017
Kunsthalle3000 is an institution as intervention that is declaring specific spots within public space as Kunsthalle to create an intensive, yet temporary locale for performance, discussion, confrontation and interchange. To date, Kunsthalle3000 has been located in Vienna, Paris, Johannesburg, Geneva, Beirut, and Nice. From 2018-19, Kunsthalle3000 was a one-year guest at Kunstverein Langenhagen.
Sculpture in public space, since 2016
Corners for Relief
Where can one go when one has to? What do you do when you’re not allowed? These small corner-shaped sculptures are modelled forms of popular peeing corners from public space and can be considered anti-monuments to this topic. Peeing corners may be a result of the lack of public toilets, but they still owe to the fact that ‘men can’ and are a demonstration of male privilege within the public sphere.
Exhibition view: SPERLING, Munich.
8-parted sculpture series, 2019
La Tigra Land Art Garden
In the secluded nature of the Hondurian La Tigra forest, a garden was created that follows the idea of miniature gardens reflecting the secular and the high culture: As my contribution to the La Tigra Performance Festival at Réunion, I gave an iconic photography of a famous Land Art work to each participant without any additional information about its specific size, materials etc. and invited them to re-interpete and re-create the work within this new environment. Photos: Sandino Scheidegger
Performance + 14-parted photo series, 30 × 45cm, 2018
Water Yump – A swimming ensemble by Thomas Geiger
Water Yump pays homage to Fluxus artist George Brecht and his work Water Yam - a collection of printed paper cards that invited readers to enact the small actions proposed by each card. For Water Yump I invited the audience to enact works by 12 fellow artists and to create together a swimming ensemble in the Rhine river. What started as a drained choreography in front of Museum Tinguely floated down the Rhine river for 45min. Curated by Benedikt Wyss, hosted by Museum Tinguely, exhibited at Buero Basel. Photos by Nicolas Gysin.
Temporary public sculpture, 2018
Living Room Demonstrations
This performance brings an activity that is generally staged in public space into the private sphere of people’s apartments. What starts as a conversation and discussion about demonstrations and the individual experiences, leads to a privately enacted demonstration by the residents inside the comfort of their home.
Homesick Festival Vienna & Fondation d'entreprise Ricard Paris, 2018
I looked on my head from above (Audio)
Originally developed as a written text, in this Audio version a English woman calmly performs a rendition of the text which consists of a succession of terse, matter-of-fact one-sentence descriptions of events and actions. Each sentence beginning with the first person pronoun ‘I’, giving the impression that her admission of responsibility is both a confession and a boast (…) As it becomes clear that the list of events intoned are in fact artworks performed by multiple mostly male authors, the integrity of the speaker withers …play excerpt
Audio work, 24min, 2016
Valve for a spontaneous aggression
A sculpture series about letting out the aggression: I leaned planks against house walls. Later, I returned to these spots and found most of the planks kicked through and broken.
For the duo-show >El malestar en un espacio sin gravedad with Javier Pesce at the Museo de Arte Contemporaneo, Santiago de Chile the work turned in a common performance: I leant 100 plans against the wall of the museum – as a tempting offer to the audience to let off steam. The people impressively accepted my invitation and their reaction was a foreshadowing of what was going to happen on the streets of Santiago just a few weeks later.
Performance / Installtion, 2019
Cent fons pour Saint-Fonts [100 fountains for Saint-Fons]
This work was created for LE CAP in Saint-Fons. The work is based on the name of the city Saint-Fons which is not referring to a "holy Fons" but rather means Cents–Fons (hundred fountains). Apparently the area was rich of fresh water and natural sources. Today, Saint-Fons is an industrial suburb not really associated with an abundance of fresh water. Instead, the city is struggling with structural problems. My work is an invitation to the visitors to remember this humid past. For that reason 100 water balloon were placed inside the exhibition waiting to be taken away – and to create a temporary gesture within the city that ranges between an act of joy and rebellion.
Performance / Installation, 2021
Stolen doorstops holding one single door open.
Sculpture series, dimensions variable, 2015/16
Exhibition view: Bonbonniere Offenbach, 2021
Thinking Machines have a long tradition in history. Their use is based on creating rational knowledge and philosophical investigation through the principle of chance. The most famous Thinking Machines are those of Ramon Llull and Athanasius Kircher. In addition to chance, their function is also based on constrained techniques. My Thinking Machine follows ecaxtly these principles: It consits of three turning discs, each with 50 words. By spinning the wheels I receive a combination of 3 words that stays with me throughout the day and serves as the basis for my visualization. The Thinking Machine is a continuous part of my daily practice and helps me to rediscover my surroundings through the filter of language. The result is an ongoing collection of text-image combinations that can be considered a diary of perception. A selection of the images can be found in this publication.
Object, prints (21 × 29.7cm) and publication, since 2007
Book(lets) created since 2009 – still the best way to share ideas and to make artworks accessible and affordable. Based on my interest in this medium Mark Pezinger Books emerged, a publishing house that I run together with Graphic Designer Astrid Seme. Most of my works are published with Mark Pezinger Books except The Collection for the Poor Collector and Die Moderatorin which are published with Edition Taube.