(b. Vancouver 1967)
The Surgeon and the Photographer (detail)
2009 and ongoing
Paper, fabric, wood and metal
Purchased with funds from the Jean MacMillan Southam Major Art Purchase Fund, Phil Lind, Vancouver Art Gallery Acquisition Fund, Canada Council for the Arts Acquisition Assistance Program and the Michael O’Brian Family Foundation, 2010
Vancouver Art Gallery, VAG 2010.19.1
© Geoffrey Farmer. Photo: Rachel Topham, Vancouver Art Gallery
The Surgeon and the Photographer, by Geoffrey Farmer, is an immense installation comprising 365 paper and cloth figurines mounted on metal stands. Using a collage technique, Farmer freely assembled bits of fabric and fragments of images cut from books to craft one fantastical figurine for each day of the year. The puppet-like characters recall the aesthetic of the collages and photomontages created by Dada artists in the early 20th century. Displayed on block plinths, they are arranged in rows to form a procession several metres long.
Vancouver-born Geoffrey Farmer produces hybrid installations that draw from different disciplines, including sculpture, collage, photography and video. To develop his concepts, he looks for inspiration in popular culture, art history, theatre, film and literature. His interest in the notions of process and transformation often lead him to adapt his works to their exhibition settings. The Surgeon and the Photographer is part of a trilogy of installations based on the accumulation of images, along with The Last Two Million Years (2007) and Leaves of Grass (2012).