Goetz Interview: Conversation with Christiane Meyer-Stoll

By Tony Oursler and Christiane Meyer-Stoll
Published in
Oct. 22, 1996

'Projection' seems to be a key term in your work. What does the term 'projection' represent to you?

It comes down to light, shining light. Light passing through objects, space, playing on a surface forming a new skin. Physics tells us this: we see light not objects. Many of my works play with the projection as skin, as identity. They change from male to female and back again. This leads us into psychological projection - which is the concept of inner thoughts projected outward onto the world. One viewer sees a woman projected onto a figure the other sees a man, this has happened time and again. I finally realized that they are projecting onto the figure as well, psychologically. In this way the viewer exposes the gender of their reaction, to the artwork.The viewer has always been the artists collaborator; finishing the work, carrying their own personal history into the process. The Rorschach tests are a great example of a device to illicit projection, to measure it. We have all been fascinated by these tests but art itself is much more than an ink blot test. If not one has lost faith in language, and is left with a blank surface to reflect everything. Of course the interesting part of the ink blot test is the fact that 80% of the public sees the same thing within reason and the other 20% see something altogether different. Its the testing system itself which becomes interesting, its implications in visual/verbal communication. There is something there that relates to media grammar, editing, evolution of visual literacy; the point at which the dots form an image, the point at which empathic bonds are formed between the viewer and the electronic entity.