Geoffrey Farmer’s international reputation was confirmed with his installation ‘Leaves of Grass’ at Documenta 13, Kassel 2012. This work, built upon the artist’s research in image collections, was developed from vintage ‘LIFE’ magazines published between 1935 and 1985. Organised chronologically, the work takes the form of 17,000 figures collaged together from clippings from the magazine, mounted on dried Miscanthus grass and displayed on a narrow 124-foot table. Referencing Walt Whitman’s 1855 poetry collection, which Whitman considered a modern portrait of the United States, Farmer’s work cumulatively reorders and recontextualizes the twentieth century as seen through the ‘LIFE’ photographers’ lens.

Farmer’s 2013 exhibition ‘Let’s Make the Water Turn Black’ at the Migros Museum, Zurich, was described by Jan Verwoert as ‘a magical backstreet symphony of lost things’ in which assemblages of both found and fabricated objects are choreographed through computerized mechanical animation to accompany a chronology of sound recordings and compositions played out over the course of the day. Each museum day represents and spans the life and biography of Frank Zappa, as arranged by Farmer, who uses Zappa’s musical influences to explore Musique Concrète, Avant-garde compositions, historical recordings, foley sounds and field recordings. This work will travel to Nottingham Contemporary, Kunstverein Hamburg and the Pérez Art Museum Miami.

The artist worked with Edinburgh Printmakers in June 2014. This was the first time the artist had worked in Scotland.

Geoffrey Farmer (born Vancouver, 1967) lives and works in Vancouver. He was recently awarded the Gershon Iskowitz Award by the Art Gallery of Ontario, which will mount a solo exhibition of his work in 2014. He has a forthcoming retrospective at the Vancouver Art Gallery in 2015. He had a recent solo exhibition, The Surgeon and the Photographer, at The Curve, Barbican Centre, London (2013). Recent group exhibitions include Triennale der Kleinplastik, Stadt Fellbach (2013); Puppet Show, Eastside Projects, Birmingham (2013) and dOCUMENTA (13) (2012).

Catriona Jeffries

Casey Kaplan

 

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