Anna Garner (b. 1982) is a multi-media artist whose practice encompasses photography, video, performance, and sculpture. Anna received her B.A. in Liberal Arts from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA and her MFA at the University of Arizona in Tucson, AZ. Her work is based in performances that explore the awareness of personal limitations and self-control, focusing on physical challenges that investigate how the body can be shaped, sensed, relied upon or distrusted. Recent shows include video screenings at Trestle Gallery in Brooklyn, NY and
Northwest Film Forum in Seattle, WA and a small group exhibition at Sala degli Archi in Livorno, Italy. In 2014 Anna was awarded residencies at The Showhegan School of Painting and Sculpture and Anderson Ranch Art Center.
For the time spent in residency at [nueBOX], Anna Garner will work on an installation, which examines self-control and discomposure through physical comedy and pratfall. The work will incorporate both video and sculptural objects combined into an environment that forefronts disorientation, physicality, and the incongruity of reactions to “the fall”.
Her work is based in performative video; in these, illogical and irreverent physical challenges are enacted as a means to investigate how the body is sensed, shaped, relied upon, or distrusted. The gestures reveal personal limitations, vulnerability, and clumsiness, and suggests the failure of self-control or of the body itself. Her exploration of the body in and out of control led her to research physical comedy and pratfall.
A pratfall stunt appears as happenstance however in truth it is carefully calculated, choreographed and executed to incur the minimal risk of injury. Danger is analyzed and reduced but it is still present; the skilled act even when perfected is latent with uncertainty and potential injury. In Garner's work she draws attention to the overlap between the simultaneous assertion and loss of control inherent in physical comedy, and to the body teetering between informed action and childish impotence.
In slapstick the body is never alone, it relates to the immediate environment and elements surrounding it. The body interacts with the world as a physical arena, yet in this play the natural world does not behave as it should; walls fall down, floors cave in, stairs move or turn into slides, bodies become inanimate objects and inanimate objects become animate bodies.
In order to execute her video works she builds props and sets, which take on these uncanny behaviors. Garner is presently turning these objects into sculptural and installation pieces that function outside of the video pieces. By doing this she aims to further emphasize spatial play between the body and world in pratfall scenarios.
She will use the time at [nueBOX] to realize an installation of video and sculptural works that examine the pratfall and reveal the body as both in and out of control. She will spend the majority of time in the residency experimenting with how to understand the configuration of the work and the relation of the video to the sculpture.