Artist Talk by Geoffrey Farmer
March 10, 2015 – 6pm to 7:30pm
Lecture Theatre 136 ARTlab | University of Manitoba | 180 Dafoe Road
Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art and the University of Manitoba, School of Art Department are pleased to co-present an artist talk with Geoffrey Farmer on Tuesday, March 10th at 6PM. A unique voice in Canadian art, Farmer is known for his performative and research-based installations that animate into absurdist narratives, pulling from varied sources as diverse as the music icon Frank Zappa to the cultural theorist Aby Warburg.
Farmer’s lecture is part of a series of lectures, performances and readings related to Plug In ICA’S current exhibit Yesterday Was Once Tomorrow (A, Brick is not a Tool). Don’t forget to live the life we promised to forget is a new work commissioned for this exhibition. It is a response to “Kathy’s Requiem”, Farmer’s 1995 prose piece reflecting on the counter-culture theorist and writer Kathy Acker’s death. This piece was first published in Vancouver’s Boo Magazine, one of the five magazines featured in the Yesterday Was Once Tomorrow (A, Brick is not a Tool). This new work embodies an important facet of Farmer’s practice: the desire and ability to blend poetics and social commentary in sculptural installations. Inverting the usual static temporality of the exhibition format, the sculpture actively changes over the duration of the exhibition. New text pieces are added to the steel spike on a random basis, creating an ongoing narrative.
Geoffrey Farmer garnered international attention at dOCUMENTA 13 in Kassel, Germany with his installation Leaves of Grass (2012). The three-dimensional collage is made of thousands of cutouts from five decades of the iconic magazine LIFE (1935-1985) arranged in a sprawling sculptural installation. The title references Walt Whitman’s celebrated 1855 poetry collection, which Whitman considered to be a modern portrait of the United States. Farmer’s installation both showcases and casts doubt upon American self-identity through popular imagery.
Geoffrey Farmer was recently awarded the Gershon Iskowitz Award by the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto who mounted a solo exhibition of his work in 2014. He has a forthcoming retrospective at the Vancouver Art Gallery in 2015. His recent work The Surgeon and the Photographer was presented at the Barbican Centre, London (2013); Let’s Make the Water Turn Black was presented at Migros Museum of Contemporary Art, Zurich (2013) and God’s Dice at the Walter Phillips Gallery, Banff (2010).
Plug In ICA gratefully acknowledges the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, the Manitoba Arts Council and Winnipeg Arts Council as well as generous donors, dedicated members and hardworking volunteers.
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