There’s no finer record of the 20th Century than the iconic magazine Life, a fact which polymath artist Geoffrey Farmer has used in creating his Leaves of Grass installation.
The Canadian has given 2D photographs from the publication an extra dimension by creating shadow puppets from cut-outs running the gamut from Liz Taylor to a pot roast. The work, on display at dOCUMENTA (13) – the staggering 100 day art festival that takes place only every 5 years – in Kassel, Germany, focuses on the period 1935 to 1985, and is the concluding part of a trilogy. Farmer has previously taken his scissors to the Reader’s Digest in The Last Two Million Years, and got out the sewing kit for some animal theatricality in The Surgeon and the Photographer, which also featured use of photographs as part of larger sculpture.
A very interesting piece which is sure to appeal to anyone who still likes to look at their Sergeant Pepper album cover (from the days when albums had covers), and even if it’s not your cup of tea from an art point of view, it’s always nice to play Where’s Wally with Winston Churchill.
On view at Neue Galerie in Kassel, Germany ’til September 16th.