Casey Kaplan

Artist News

The Surgeon and The Photographer (detail) 2009, 365 puppet figures, fabric, found images, metal stands and 60 wooden plinths

Geoffrey Farmer featured in Frieze Magazine

…The phenomenon of material animism is at the heart of Geoffrey Farmer’s practice. And he taps into its numinous uncanny dimension as much as into its sometimes striking mundanity. His installation at Redcat in Los Angeles in 2011, Let’s Make the Water Turn Black, for instance, was a magical backstreet symphony of lost things: a vast array of objects arranged on a huge, white, low-level platform performed a ghostly choreography of (mechanically) animated motions, in the act of channelling the irreverent spirit of Frank Zappa summoned in the title eponymous with a 1968 Zappa song. There were many things on stage, some still, some, at particular times, momentarily springing to life in erratic motions: a stick, a stone, a pot, some coloured light bulbs, some plants, a photo of one guy kissing another on his boxers, a plank, a bulky shape covered by blankets the size of a baby elephant, a light, a rod, a box, a hammer, a figure in a cloak wearing a hat with a plant on top whose mechanical arm now and again hits a can with a light bulb, a record player, a chair intertwined with a silver-leafed branch and some large potato-shaped rock which, when its turn comes, takes a slow majestic bow.