VIP - VideoChannel Interview Project

Gerard, Johannes

Johannes Gerard
German videomaker


His video
No More Womens Land, 2014, 07:42
is participating – artvideoKOELN – audiovisual experiences 01

Interview: 10 Questions

1. Tell me something about your life and the educational background
When I went to art academy I study subjects which where worlds away from video and film making. First I learned book printing and graphic design at the School of Print and Design in Cologne, Germany and afterwards I study sculpture an printmaking at the Dun Laoghaire School of Art &Design (today IDAT) in Dublin Ireland. I finish with a MFA in Visual Arts. First I worked mainly as sculptor and printmaker, later concentrated more on painting until 2008 when I literally drop all my previous disciplines over night, except that of printmaking and moved towards to photography. At the same time became well interested in installation and Land Art which lead me at the end to video installations with still images and further to filming. My life is some kind of restless as I lived and worked in different countries like Ireland, Spain, Argentina, Taiwan, Australia, The Netherlands, India, China. Currently I live and work in Berlin, Germany and in The Hague, The Netherlands

2. When, how and why started you filming?
Real filming I only started in September 2014 for my Silent Crossing Boundaries Project in Tainan, Taiwan. First I only planed as a try out with most modest equipment and software. I made video installation which my photography images, but I liked to go a step further for to see if moving art suits me. However I began to work together with the Taiwanese Performance Artist Yu-I Kao and the solo dancer Hsin-Ying Tsai. Specially the collaboration with Hsin-Ying Tsai let me decide go further filming

3. What kinds of topics have your films?
The same as for my photography, installation and print work. Identity, Diversity, Crossing Borders, Transition, Transmission, Inner Strife, Erotic, Death

4. How do you develop your films, do you follow certain principles, styles etc
It depends how I developed my films. I don´t have a very work out story board. At the present the developed is very much based on experiment and improvisation . Quiet often I just bring my camera with me and I just start to film what I find a interesting scenery. In this way I just built up a archive from which I develop later my ideas for films. If I work together just like with Hsin -Ying Tsai and Yu-I Kao, I like that they bring I also there own ideas and vision into the project, so you can say it becomes a collaboration project. In many cases my videos a mix up between the collaboration parts and parts from my archive. As I live and work many years in Asia I became adapted toward a more Asian vision and style. The end results of my video work have in general a very metaphoric narrative and subtle approach towards the topic.

5. Tell me something about the technical equipment you use.
Very simple equipment a video camera JVC AVCHD Everio, a Nikon D 5100 , software Adobe Elements 13, BB Flashback Pro 5 and AVS Video converter & Editor. For lighting I use a movable simple studio set from Mettle

6. These days digital technology is dominating also video as a medium. In which way the digital aspect is entering the creation of your videos, technologically and/or conceptually?
I use sometime digital work outs, but I keep it simple and try not to dominate it too much my videos. It doesn´t mean I am against it, but for the moment it doesn´t fit into my style, visions and the projects I plan. Maybe one day I will use it more and experiment with it.
How knows I start my art career as a stone carver and traditional printmaker and now I am doing video. Everything can happen.

7. How do you finance your films?
For my first video films I was lucky to get finance support from the Bureau of Cultural Affairs, Tainan City Government, Taiwan and Stroom , Center for the Arts, The Hague, The Netherlands. But most projects I finance myself with money I earned. from other projects . Sometimes I also still get finical support from Stroom for certain projects. However in general you can say everything runs under the term low budget or not budget at all.

8. Do you work individually as a video artist/film maker or do you work in a team?
if you have experience in both, what is the difference, what do you prefer?
I have experience with both individually as well with a team. However again it depends the situation and what I want to do. So I have really no preference, but I must say I like more to work with a small team , then rather with a big team.

9. Who or what has a lasting influence on your film/video making?
As I mention it a already before, my long time in Asia and interest in art and philosophy from Asian. Here I have to point in particular to Taiwan, China and Japan which have a lasting influence on my vision, style and ideas as a visual and video artist. A newer aspect of influence comes from the collaboration work with Hsin-Ying Tsai and Yu-I Kao. What is important in this case is that you keep an open mind and not be afraid to cross boundaries

10. What are your future plans or dreams as a film/video maker?
I like to continue with my video work, but presenting them in a more professional and technical workout manner . As well would like to do more future projects in collaboration with other artist, performers or dancers like Hsin Ying and Yu-I Kao who have a different culture back ground. If there is the chance I would also like to get involved more in community or school projects. This are my plans. About dreams?. Dreams as a video/film maker I don´t have anymore, it is just for to avoid disappointments and to run behind something what might never become true or reality

Can works of yours viewed online besides on the CologneOFF/artvideoKOELN platform? Where?
List some links & resources