Geo Wyeth

Vleeshal Center for Contemporary Art (16 Oct. – 14 Nov. 2021)

Installation view Geo Wyeth, Muck Studies Dept Archive-That-Matters (ATM) (2021), Vleeshal. Photo Franz Mueller Schmidt. All rights reserved by Hartwig Art Foundation.

Geo Wyeth is an artist and educator, working in the realms of music, performance, narrative sculpture, and video. His research project entitled Muck Studies Dept. (2017 – ongoing) takes the difficult (and often absurd) task of remapping and unearthing the deeply embedded colonial histories of land, water, air, and the self. Blending personal stories with folklore and speculative narrative, Muck Studies Dept. approaches the qualities of a composite identity with roots in black and queer histories, with a mixture of deadpan sincerity and grating humor. 

Over its five-year run, the vehicle employed for this research project (a green van) has been a vessel for videos, radio transmissions, performances and screenings. Muck Studies Dept Archive-That-Matters (ATM) is the green van itself. Presented at Vleeshal (16 Oct. – 14 Nov. 2021), this dense and ambitious mobile installation is equipped with a short throw projector, an FM radio transmitter, and a heavy sound system, among other components. It is a time capsule that allows visitors to revisit previous experiments, as well as a site for future performances and happenings.

The work Muck Studies Dept Archive-That-Matters (ATM) will be acquired by the Hartwig Art Foundation and subsequently donated to the collection fo the Dutch state (‘Rijkscollectie’).

About the artist

Geo Wyeth is originally from the US and currently based in Rotterdam. He was artist in residence at the Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten in Amsterdam (2015-2016) and holds teaching position at the Dutch Art Institute (DAI) and the Willem de Kooning Akademie where he focuses on embodied tactics of performance, storytelling, and remembering. Wyeth was funded by the Amsterdam Fonds voor de Kunst in 2017, and the Mondriaan Fonds for research on jazz history, extractive industry, and swamp studies in New Orleans in 2019. In 2021 he was part of a residency programme at the Textiel Museum (Tilburg, NL).

Wyeth has shown work at the New Museum, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, MoMA PS1 (Greater New York 2016), Dutch National Opera, Triangle France, Anthology Film Archives, The Kitchen, TENT (Rotterdam), Arsenic (CH), Biquini Wax (CDMX), LA MoCA, New York Live Arts, The Studio Museum in Harlem, Boston ICA, La MaMa Theatre, Human Resources, The Pyramid Club, Joe’s Pub, and many others. He is co-founder of the queer social space Tender Center (Rotterdam, NL). Wyeth composed music for the narrative shorts Happy Birthday Marsha!Atlantic is a Sea of BonesSalacia, and The Personal Things (all directed by Tourmaline), as well as numerous videos of other contemporary artists. He recently came out with their record ATM FM (2020), recorded in Rotterdam and released into the air through Muck Studies Dept.

About Muck Studies Dept.

Muck Studies Dept. is a constellational body employing inherited diasporic/American funk and folk poetics, and techniques of investigative journalism. The project connects mud, water, metal, gas, ass, rocks, coins, extractive industry, deep coloniality, and sensual expression of belonging to that flood. Muck Studies Dept. is also an imaginary city agent surveying the bottom of low-lying water areas, “looking to find stars out of what stinks.” The project has appeared in many forms including public performance, video, poetry, music, and installation, with research in New Orleans, New York, and the Netherlands.