Geoffrey Farmer: Let’s Make the Water Turn Black, on view at PAMM from October 9 to March 1, 2014, is a theatrical installation involving odd combinations of found objects which the artist transforms into awkward, puppet-like figures, and kinetic elements choreographed with sound. Together, these pieces become theater plays or small operas with uncanny objects as their main performers. Creating mysterious and, at times, sinister environments, the artist’s work responds dynamically to the architectural and cultural contexts in which it is produced.
Farmer (b.1967) is best known for his work with collage and his references to the genre’s modernist traditions, such as those produced by Dada artists at the beginning of the 20thcentury. During the talk, Farmer will contextualize his installation at PAMM by sharing sound clips, video and other source material to illuminate his influences for his installation, which range from surrealism of the 1920s to 1960 countercultural movements and music. Finding parallels between artistic experimentation in music, such as Edgard Varèse’s idea of “organized sound” and later composers who collaged recordings, and the “cut up” method of
writing popularized by William Boroughs in the 1960s, Farmer‘s piece results in a new experience of sound and narrative that employs both 20th century techniques and the algorithms of contemporary digital software.
Installation view, Kunstverein in Hamburg
Photo: Fred Dott
Courtesy of the artist, Catriona Jeffries Gallery, Vancouver, and Casey Kaplan, New York.