Geoffrey Farmer

I spent two full days in Kassel trying to see as much of the dOCUMENTA (13) exhibitions as possible. I was fervently hopping from one venue to the next, but by 7pm the second day I was kind of dragging myself along. Not because it wasn’t interesting, but because it was just a little bit too much. By chance, the very last room I viewed showed the work of one of my favourite collage artists, Geoffrey Farmer. People queued up to view Farmer’s Leaves of Grass (2012) at the Neue Gallery.

The three-dimensional collage spans over 18 meters and it is made up of cut-out images from five decades of Life Magazine – from 1935 to 1985. The pictures include advertisements, articles, and photographs of politicians, stars, and cultural icons. Each image is individually attached to a thin wooden post in order to give depth.

Farmer does not place images randomly, pictures are cut-out and juxtaposed in a meticulous way. It serves as a fun, but also at times serious, reflection on the world as American’s viewed it at particular moments in time. It is a delightful experience to stroll along the work. I was overwhelmed by the detail. Farmer managed to create what I, and some of my friends, have been attempting to create with found images – a sort-of über-collage. Upon exiting the gallery it felt as though I just watched a silent film, perhaps a ‘history of the USA in pictures’.

My photographs does not do the work justice, but I hope it gives some sense of enormity and detail of The Leaves of Grass.

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3 comments

  1. Great photo-reportage, fantastic pictures!
    «Not because it wasn’t interesting, but because it was just a little bit too much.» It’s terrible when we are traveling and there are so many interesting things to see and we have so little time!

  2. Hylett

    the attention to detail astounding!

  3. Madeleine

    Wow, dis te veel om in te neem! Ek wens ek kon dit sien…

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