Oct 2013 - 05 Jan 2014
Farmer is a unique and disconcerting voice in Canadian art. Borrowing elements
from conceptual and installation art, he combines poetry and social commentary
with specific cultural histories and memories. He presents these findings in a
new and unfamiliar light, creating playful and visually entrancing works.
Make the Water Turn Black is his most technically ambitious installation to
date. Over 70 sculptures have been constructed from found materials, salvaged
movie props and discarded theatre sets which he presents as an ensemble on a
large platform. Animated by computer, in an environment of changing coloured
light, the population of characters are choreographed into a mechanical
performance. They move slowly in response to musical compositions.
a 1968 composition by Frank Zappa of the same name, Farmer's Let's Make the
Water Turn Black presents an improvised chronology of the six decades of the
American musician's life. Farmer sees the vast sculptural structure as a single
soundtrack is composed from field recordings relating to places Zappa recorded
and played his music. Farmer uses a "cut up" approach to the
soundtrack that is related to William S Burrough's way of writing literature,
and to Zappa's own compositional technique. It also references musique concrete,
kinetic art, and the counter- culture music scene in Los Angeles in the 1960s.
The computer algorithms that control the work reflect the idiosyncratic
compositional forms Zappa used, making each day unique and unpredictable.
Make the Water Turn Black is a co-production by Migros Museum für
Gegenwartskunst in Zurich, Nottingham Contemporary, Hamburg Kunstverein and Pérez
Art Museum Miami.
October - 18 October