2 3 4 5 6 7 8  9  Jill Giegerich  .


Jill Giegerich lives and works in Los Angeles, California. Well, actually Culver City. She graduated from the California Institute of the Arts in 1977 with an MFA. Her work has been widely exhibited nationally and internationally, with exhibitions at the Whitney Museum in New York City, the San Francisco Museum of Art, the Carnegie Institute in Pittsburgh, PA, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the Museum of Modern Art, Toyama , Japan. She is the recipient of a 1984 National Endowment of the Arts Fellowship, a 1986 Awards in the Visual Arts Fellowship, and a 1992 Guggenheim Fellowship. She is an Associate Professor at the University of California, Riverside. She is not represented by any galleries.


This interview was recorded on Sunday December 14, 1996.

How did you decide to interview me?

M. I have a secret devining method. I have this long stick...

(laughing) ...and it pointed in my direction?

M. It was a whim

That's a great way. I think it 's the only way. What made you decide to start an internet magazine?

M. Uhm...Wait! You can't interview me. I almost had the semblance of a first question. I was something along the lines of like... So, you survived. How'd you do that?

(Laughs) Uh... Yeah. That's a good question. Survived, how do you mean? Like physically, emotionally, spiritually... artistically?

M. Any of those.

Okay. Well, I'm not entirely sure I have survived, actually. (laughs) I haven't survived in the form I used to be in. That's certainly true. I've changed, I've changed a lot. And I think that... God, that's a really hard question to answer... I guess in terms of survival right now, I feel very delicately and intensely related to the survival of the species as a whole. I feel like it's all very delicate right now. And I feel that every decision I make about how I'm going to live my life is extremely important. And I've never really felt that way before. So I guess I'm surviving by having been forced by life and circumstance and the time that I'm born into, surviving by intense concentration and focus on the decisions I'm making about the rest of my life. And that includes all the categories of my life and art happens to be one of them. It's no longer the most important category of my life. It used to be obsessive: a constant litany in my head... I used to think that that constant litany was supposed to be there and you weren't living the life of the artist unless you had that constant litany. But now...

M. What's that litany?

Work. Work. Work. Work all the time. Constantly think about art from the minute you wake up to the minute you wake up. Because you're also dreaming about it. That finally did me in, because now I think that that wasn't really about the romance of making art, that was a capitalist mandate that I just absorbed without realizing that I had absorbed it. That it was about this constant achievement. And I just said at a certain point in my life that I couldn't do that anymore. I just couldn't do it. So now art is just kind of one of the many things I do, one of the many ways that I live my life and look at my life and think about what it is, how it is. And I make art when I need to make it, when there's an interesting, compelling reason to make it.

M. How'd that happen?

I think that's some kind of natural process as you get older. By a certain time in your life either you have achieved what you want to achieve or you haven't, and either way, there's some kind of intense period of reassessment... Shit happens to you and you get knocked around and you have to figure out how to stand up again. And you can't stand up again the same way that you stood up before because that's what knocked the shit out of you, so you have to stand up again in a different way. And I think that you have to really reassess energy, where you are putting your energy. And as you get older the recognition of death is a tremendous opportunity to not waste any more energy on things that aren't pertinent. Not that I'm not still capable of wasting enormous amounts of energy (laughs) but I catch myself a lot more quickly than I used to.

M. What's a waste?

Well, one huge waste of energy for artists is the art world game. That's just an enormous waste. And I think playing that game beyond a certain age is kind of sad, in a way. It's a no win game, worrying about whether you're accepted, whether you