Geoffrey Aldridge

Washington, D.C. | by January 9, 2011

I was unfa­mil­iar with Geof­frey Aldridge’s work until I vis­ited his stu­dio in mid-​​December 2010.  Aldridge is a Wash­ing­ton, DC-​​based (Logan Cir­cle) artist who cur­rently works in video.  Dur­ing our con­ver­sa­tion he made the use­ful dis­tinc­tion between “props” and “mate­ri­als”.  One such mate­r­ial is the the green screen.  Using a green screen the artist is able to trans­pose video of him­self, shot in his stu­dio, with video shot at a dif­fer­ent loca­tion (or any video). The effect is capa­ble of pro­duc­ing images which are quite real­is­tic, where the com­bi­na­tion of two sep­a­rate videos is by appear­ance a seam­less, con­vinc­ing com­bi­na­tion.  Aldridge is inter­ested in the delim­it­ing abil­ity of green screen pro­duc­tion. Green screen pro­duc­tion is par­tic­u­larly suited to cre­at­ing non-​​descript, generic non-​​spaces.  Dur­ing my visit we watched a video in which Geof­frey spins slowly among a clus­ter of shiny objects.

As for the dis­tinc­tion between “props” and “mate­ri­als,” what I make of it is this: whereas “props” con­notes or sug­gests the­ater, a kind of sanc­tioned fak­ery, “mate­ri­als” sug­gests a greater, more pro­nounced inten­tion­al­ity on the part of the artist.  Aldridge’s work is per­for­ma­tive and inti­mate work but it is not strictly an inti­mate doc­u­ment of a per­for­mance.  Nonethe­less, such a doc­u­ment will have been cre­ated in the ser­vice of the larger project as a mate­r­ial.  Aldridge is his own audi­ence through­out the mak­ing of these newer works, both within the works (he described a work in which he has a con­ver­sa­tion with him­self) and as edi­tor of the work (he spoke about the need to work with the soft­ware, to sub­mit to the edit­ing process with eyes anew, to deny his ego, to re-​​figure the work he has put into the project up to the point of edit­ing).  There is an equal­iza­tion of actions both in front of the cam­era and behind it in this work.  All are material.

Geof­frey Aldridge is cur­rently prepar­ing for a show later this year at Con­ner Con­tem­po­rary.  For more about his work, visit www.geoffreyaldridge.com.


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