Geoffrey Farmer represents Canada at the 57th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia. Farmer’s exhibition is entitled “A way out of the mirror” and literally floods the Canada Pavilion.
Geoffrey Farmer / Canadian Pavilion, Venice Art Biennale 2017. Venice, Italy, May 9, 2017.
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Excerpt from the press text:
A way out of the mirror began with Farmer’s discovery of two unpublished press photographs dating back to 1955 that depict a collision between a train and a lumber truck driven by his paternal grandfather. 71 brass planks, reminiscent of the lumber that was scattered at the scene of the accident, are part of the work. Other elements, including 3D-printed sculptures cast in aluminum and bronze, tell stories ranging from the relations between Italy and Canada after the Second World War to the artist’s own familial trauma, of luminaries Kathy Acker and Allen Ginsberg, and of Inuit teenagers residing in Cape Dorset, Nunavut.
Water is a powerful connector in Farmer’s presentationandlinks imagery to the flow of liquid, from the “fountain of knowledge” to the constant “livestream of images” we are familiar with today.
Kitty Scott, the Carol and Morton Rapp Curator, Modern and Contemporary Art at the Art Gallery of Ontario was selected by Farmer to curate the 2017 Canada Pavilion. “Farmer opens up and transforms the Canada Pavilion into an outwardly facing fountain courtyard: the water of A way out of the mirror translates a surfeit of emotion and discharges it in spurts and drips as tears, ejaculate and sweat,” she said. “It is at once a monument and an anti-monument that memorializes individuals and stories in a gesture of generosity and inclusion.”
Titled to reference the emotive writings of beat poet Allen Ginsberg, A way out of the mirror presents a new way of experiencing the Canada Pavilion, in which the architectural history of the building is entwined with the installation itself.