Matthew Geller

In an investigation of narrative forms that has ranged from experimental fictions to feature-length theatrical dramas, Matthew Geller reworks the structure and style of television storytelling. His artfully-constructed, often comic narratives play off conventional genres — documentary, fairy tale, melodrama. In innovative "new narrative" works such as Windfalls (1982), Geller employs fragmentation and disjunction as storytelling devices, intercutting several seemingly unrelated anecdotal stories into one cohesive, if nonlinear, narrative.

In his elliptical tales, the viewer's subconscious ability to find allusive connections between the stories unites disjointed elements into an aggregate whole. Typically, Geller begins with a simple premise — a man buying a television, a woman tired of small-town life — and interweaves disparate threads in a circular pattern of interaction. The stories of individual lives, which are often recounted in first-person narrations, become fictive texts that expose the artifice of the narrative construction.

In addition to producing videotapes, Geller has also worked in sculpture, painting and photography, and is the author of several books.

Geller was born in 1954. He received a B.A. from Connecticut College and an M.F.A. from the University of Delaware. He is the recipient of a number of awards, including grants and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, Creative Artists Public Service (CAPS), and the Jerome Foundation. He has been a visiting lecturer at the University of California, San Diego; Williams College; and Princeton University. Geller was video curator at P.S. 1 in New York from 1986-87, and in 1990 curated Television Apparatus at the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York. He is also the author of published works, including Difficulty Swallowing: A Medical Chronicle (1981) and Hidden Away in a Musty Chamber (1983). His work has been exhibited internationally, at festivals and institutions including the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Institute of Contemporary Art, London; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; International Festival of Video Art, Locarno, Italy; Moderna Museet, Stockholm; and the Long Beach Museum of Art, California. Geller lives in New York.