Eli Geiser – born and raised in a small Swiss town at the border to Germany – lives since January 2007 in San Francisco, CA.
Eli was trained as a ceramics painter and got a degree as a teacher of handicraft and textile works from the School of Applied Arts in Zurich and the Teachers’ Trainings College at Brugg, Switzerland.
Throughout her professional career, she regularly attended courses of art at the Academia degli Belli Arti in Perugia, Italy and the Kunstgewerbeschulen Zurich and Basel. Since 1990 Eli has her own studio and showed her work in many galleries in Switzerland, Germany, Czech Republic, Poland and the USA.
Eli’s work is greatly influenced by her changing living conditions. She first reflects about a topic and then she chooses the appropriate technique. During a five years stay at Prague f.e. she mainly looked at the streets, the surface of the earth, the thin layer on top of a vast unknown underground. For that she used a mixed technique of asphalt, ashes and acryl.
At the moment she concentrates on the relationship between language and colors. For that she creates clearly structured, geometrical pictures in strong colors.
Accent, visual language, tone… many terms indicate the close relationship between sound and color. That, which on the one hand is easily understandable in ordinary language and on the other hand measurable with highly complex physical formula, has for years been my passion: the warmth of red, the cool of blue, colors that strike, colors that lull.
During the years I spent living in Eastern Europe I became fascinated by the rhythm and melody of spoken language, and began to formulate ways of converting these rhythms into color. Together with an artistic colleague from Bulgaria I created a multimedia installation („Melody of the East“). In more recent works I assign each letter of the alphabet a color. The result has been a collection of more abstract, mathematical pictures than the more aurally focused „Melody of the East“. I have, however, retained some of the earlier ground rules, thus allowing colors to be dimmed by voiced sounds, or illuminated by sibilants.
The alphabet presents itself to me as a sequence of sounds (vowels) and noises (consonants) that I try to capture in colors. Presented together as a word, letters create a color sequence that also stands alone as a picture. But every picture is a word, and whoever knows the key can decipher the meaning.
The content of these word-pictures is strongly shaped by the circumstances of my own life. Thus I express in „Containers at Sea“ my own experience of coming to the New World, while the poetic „America is…“ reflects my impressions of the Californian landscape.
The „Swear-Tirades“ are inspired by the practise in the US media of acoustically phasing out obscenities. Instead, I have transformed them into colors. In this way, the forbidden words present themselves as playful color combinations – my ironic interpretation of censure.