Canadian installation artist Geoffrey Farmer (b. 1967, Eagle Island) has long admired the counterculture and music of the ’60s, a longing of someone who has realized he’s missed out on something.
Geoffrey Farmer 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 20th century. Growing up in the MTV and Atari generation has shaped his artistic outlook with an ADHD exuberance toward multimedia. As a result, his installations have become amalgams of video, photography, sound, sculpture, drawings, and performance that jump genres into the world of theatricality.
Let’s Make the Water Turn Black 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.
For this site-specific, installation-based artwork, Farmer‘s Let’s Make the Water Turn Black takes its inspirational cues from the music of Frank Zappa. But it becomes a monster all its own, informed by the major artistic movements, beginning with surrealism and culminating with Vietnam War-era work. Farmer will lend context to his installation by using even more mixed-media applications — sound clips, video footage, and even puppets. Made with found objects and choreographed to music, the puppets will act out a play.