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Listen to how artists understand the work of Isa Genzken. To learn more about what artists have to say, take our online course, Modern and Contemporary Art, 1945-1989. Created by The Museum of Modern Art.

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Video transcript

[Music] I seconds Ken skill now I'm not familiar with that person at all against ice a Gascon don't know that one is it a woman or a man I'm not familiar with this artist are you I've never heard of it aha they don't have to know a damn thing about use against cream they don't have no agenda he doesn't have anything to do with her nationality it doesn't have anything to do with anything except with what you see [Music] it's not at all a secret it's not at all hidden as a global I see another boudoir Winston built oven SD in Deutschland Clemont Aladdin he is him and here he were feeling a senator from Iowa I told Emma Zia they're young latinas I always have this question by collectors logic who were the young artists you look at and I always come back to either which by age is of course not a young artist but she's an artist who surprised me most the Antonio technique so Devin Lauren Scala Z looked from fear and fear in Queensland we created in fired few artists have more relevance than her miracle work always seems incredibly ahead of its time that's hdhde sucess to market or philosophy on art is not to fear not see in MoMA the buddy Noah Florida is not ocean from Kinnison egg shine when Japanese advance and she get out or even Kenya suitable she take to world as me here from digits key angle fungus order Barnett Newman Mondrian orders a prospectus or a hairpin are does vanity job something Ivanovich do she has this intuitive quality to out trick an absurd social situation which yields was people it deals was economy it deals with his history and so she's not detached from what's going on this is a person who is not happy with society as they see it and continually attempts to criticize that society she was up to no good she is ultra ambitious but not for herself it's just towards what she is doing my favorite film it's a visit with her grandparents in the Bavarian woods you can tell what it means to grow up in post Nazi Germany and be confronted with memories and insist on knowing what your parents did it's very tragic she is certainly very radical not protecting herself nor anybody else she is like a tsunami she's part of a generation of German artists who refused to become dogmatic and didactic and that is the political act in the world what geezer really doesn't like this uptightness this squareness there's no where the mind is not allowed to go potentially it's a break with high seriousness this is a whole generation of artists like Mike Kelly and Jim Shaw who's worked tries to break with high seriousness items came septal art so in a runway she's doing that and I think her work is not only deeply humorous it also touches the selling a terrifying in the late 1970s I took the opportunity to propose a small exhibition of ease against against work recently Jensen has done a series of red blue and yellow three-dimensional ellipsoid sculptures the artists use a computer to produce an accurate outline of the desired ellipse because the curve of such an attenuated form was too subtle to be obtained by simple visual or mathematical means because the lips is so extended the forms seem wondrous and strange despite their basic clarity and regularity Thomas most pasilla forced uncovers a kind of computer to house other disposable item Institute possession Alice and Bob soon unhandsome our console so our button is exclaiming avenged Caviezel fit is inside this form was continually changing it followed the path of conventional Dusseldorf art at the time and then began no longer to be able to be supported by that it made no more sense to her she informed minimalist mail-id with something completely different going our own way not giving a shit she manages to bypass all current discussions and ask questions which are very existential we did not really recognize it as from the same person she made very surprising changes in her approach the book looks as well as ruins as well as maquettes we were doing the armory and the only person who really seemed to understand the work was this kind of funny-looking hippie when he left like a colleague asked me to HT know who we were talking to and I said no no idea in the closet oh that was Bryce Marin the single scoop turns into Amanda's new rule foreign markets for sonic rent meow the zeppelin built on a button i became the human irvine child then zip and shown does this courtesy for straightness as easy causes result is concrete sculptures express unconscious fear which most people understand without knowing edge but there it is the series of capri works but kind of standard for appliances like these radios try to understand the logic of these sculptures from images as a kind of student I spent quite a lot of time on that when asked a few members of would validate and finger yeah I guess entire an elysian students and other decent design finals end in doubt say it's an under there's some really profound decision-making process taking place which embodies both a kind of incredible disappointment with the limit of things and at the same time an assertion of a freedom to do what the hell I want when you're a young artist I remember this distinctly you would have stuff and you would also have an idea of some kind of art to make she decided to crash these two things into each other this is completely logical thing to do you need to crash things into each other to somehow find out what they're made of when you look at these epoxy works you couldn't quite place it into a specific set of practices but on the other hand it definitely was trying to address some concerns in a sort of enduring abstraction you could call it like an endurance of form she expresses her own feelings about certain situations very much in the pictures of the mind the certain structure how to think about certain situations fences by young horses t-midi Esther goes also to make easy italic the high dimension of medicines and Fenster was a guinea a little thinner everybody has a right for at least one window or four toilet or for food or clean water or things like that this is human rights she's anthropologically really on the target she lifts this set who actually is doing at the moment and there are certain seams and then that seam is gone she uses a language for a certain serious and then she invents a new one [Music] I have been in either studio several times and sometimes even not finding her at first glance but all this like an adventure always seeing something really surprising whenever you go to her studio you don't know what you will see one part of my job is to fix the sculptures and make them stable so they can be shipped out of the studio I first glued these glass buildings and all of a sudden she came around and said well and also there is a little polyester goat that that size and she said could you fix these cowboy boots on on the goat it was a funny moment but there are many funny moments there but amazing for me that she has all those kind of different rooms but she lives with the work and where she kind of creates the work for different needs with all this miniature details and she wears things which look on everybody else completely stupid but on her it looks just what Couture perfect she was always dressed in a beautiful way I kind of love her with colours funny enough she never goes to a fitting room when she's in the shop she picks the pants looks at them says I buy it and they fit she's my favorite dresser I'm often amazed at the strength that visa has to put together these entire exhibitions almost single-handedly one of the reasons why she doesn't have an assistant is because assistants are usually artists themselves and they tend to mention their opinions after while and interfere maybe Jelena mr. Semyon eyes out at far leg outside does Ben diamond in a motley round and insulation Zenit The Cedars Anglican Oscar not the stun Jesus person Villa vacation so the D moment most OCD installation Vanessa almost Vina - Eli I'm handsome aha there is a rigor behind her practice that makes all this freedom of expression possible there's no lifeguard at her side she is she's really very audacious he is a year Kanekalon to smoosh frantically as an unarmed attack on who Sunita's is on slide Kellner's into the engi gonna beat the civilized a slice of air on top Samir Angus in on jet mill zero to five on the exact version of us to follow the hook and quits they're from Casper versioning is he an inky the at least from Atlantic pushes the augment Molly my okay kudos kudos my hands on the car English peas with alpha so this is also off task [Music] user has an incredible sense for the volume for the amount of work that a space can take in 2000 the Casper cronic gave us this giant exhibition space I think it's 20 by 20 meters both awesome together visited this empty huge space and they started sort of dancing together the work was initially all about reflecting on the outside reflecting my photographs on the wall in a central Merritt sculpture and then from her change I then realized there would be an optical effect happening if I placed a giant picture at the end of what now had become two parallel walls of mirrors and you walk in and you see yourself mirrored in this empty big image so it was a kind of Versailles image for non aristocrats and Gonzales arts from either via my English home vehicles when I give her home into either come on Van Meegeren for slack on that affected ethos of our mother is not a cannula nobody mentholated Anna's ads shown by of her treatment in visa monstrosity - uncle Zeb's Opera House of American to economic also horses can get out wanders the land shaft of an incline of it as oh that's cool isn't Fitness the defender doesn't really often omit school two hours in the Evita steamer yeah [Music] I wanted to ask is a what's your message to the American public what do you think she would have said I would I think she would say I love New York and I think this comes from the bottom of her heart there is so much in correspondence with New York as a city in Essos case New York is like heaven on earth I think her love affair with America in New York in particular comes from a sense of freedom of thought that she she feels there [Music] she was telling us how she had just done this eye-opening tour of the outskirts of Berlin where she had seen all the old East German buildings and run-down Bauhaus aesthetic of what it had become then and how horrified she was and she said I want to call my show fuck the Bauhaus new buildings for New York it was taking the piss out of what at one point was really avant-garde and new and then was instrumentalized quite often for propagandistic and wrong reasons I would spend a lot of time walking around the city with her and I have never experienced an artist who can see things of great diversity and put it together in a democratic way to her everything is a sculptural material she would say Christophe look at this building she would name the building she would know the architect she would know when it was built and then go wouldn't it be great if we put this orange stuff around it and I had dinner last night at a fish restaurant and so I have a whole bucket full of oyster shells and we should put that up and I'm going to make a model of that she turns it into an object that has this very liberating power because the materials are familiar and yet it's something you've never seen before it's amazing how intuitively she can handle complex tectonic things like being a chef doing things many things at the same time and then bringing it together it was very Punk it was really tough and it was so singular it's vision how she was seeing New York digitally dinner time as a fella Anathoth and dimension and at Feliciana Sophie made creativity not so turned on and this is eros on the heart the scenes on this note Suzanne films das e alpha zoo annex Finn the human diesel farm too smooth it was awfully ala mi vida Noi also game can suno inform offended [Music] she kept telling me about this idea of wanting to make a film Empire vampire this is the late 90s the term Empire at that point had absolutely no meaning without more two years later it was the political term vampire nobody had interest in that now everything's vampire from bands to films everything she had that already in her head these two words put together that this one day would be what becomes meaningful I remember very vividly the Empire vampire serious and she started to use all these little toys first it looks frightening and the moment you really entertain it is really extraordinary how human it is you really do I think get to see it through her eyes sometimes when I really look at what I'm looking at I realize I'm looking at some kind of toy dinosaur or something like this with a bit of orange paint on it now this is completely unacceptable at one level but on the other hand it's a deeply serious object the best reaction I got was actually by by a collector of either I said oh that looks really like student work but he meant it in a very positive way because if somebody as a so-called mid-career artist could kind of totally rethink her idea of sculpture I mean that's the best what you can do as an artist [Music] the steamer his oil a to dust was aggravated Kashmiri finally the Hope Town Meeting coffin of old empty stone out into the brush Liam was a Nepal I'm like Harnish Andy for show and if it's approved globe negotiated face I know that when after an anxiety is a fairly in cover and so coping the alternate in a fairly under the Deuter huh while equipped me abundant runs an older than services Madan of tatsuhisa forever on Camden focus window on teens and so when hung eating crawfish no food and so as as Hatter's on a leash to get presents NGOs she just so got the experience of one being in Venice but to just being alive right now all those bags mancom infinity and that us on data is lift then alpha T ash that diesel diesel all bomb hard to get all word felt for the interest and that's easy light at a cottage down on that that's Kannada spicy mi vida left adrift enough our in Anna guns on gobbling foam it's both extremely giving and full of content and then somehow the work is kind of withholding and saying look whatever I do about this or whatever any other artist does about it you're still going to be stuck with this situation it's like turning the volume up what like turning up the trouble or turning up the bass which is a very odd thing to do but in fact for me it's more effective than if you often make very clear by backtick statement about something [Music] September 11th is something she can deal with she's not afraid she goes all the way the World Trade Center project it's so powerful and really so the view of a world I would love to live in as it's true and concrete of war schlock through Ground Zero I saw this little of Bushido viola stamen actually see I believe this about jihad kassapa for Evita argument was power transfer via SD Finn Matt Matt's image of a zoo and force largely male stigma who on a discordant well account different ancestral birth noted as the steeple to know I bit off as giving the disc good spot I was get off on the fee and sons instrument also that's mine EEMA vermin very at this high height heart it's an Immelmann will in the disc the encounter does Australia a lot of artists are not supposed to have authority they're supposed to present things that if anybody is foolish enough to use in their life they have to change their entire logic battery these against can seduces in a way that punk tried to seduce I feel funny doing this kind of a talk about a colleague because in fact she requires no justification the story is the shit that's sitting on the floor and the stuff on the wall that's the story for her we work expresses what she intends to express and it's up to everybody to just grasp it a claw was skipped current managed Anna Howard from is against confer Lexington is neo magazin this is need old or off nor under Wilder does wonders go feel a teen immaterial to us he fucked up teaming now see is an for human deserves she talks about elementary sings of of mankind without being literal leaving that space for the audience to make sense of it it's all in there she gets to the essential thing she's the world receiver all that work about years and the receivers that is so what she's doing you know like a filter of everything that's out there and it's just kind of coming into her way of looking at things and then coming out the other side in a really beautiful way you