Geoffrey Farmer, The Surgeon and the Photographer, with the video Look in my Face; my name is Might-have-been; I am also called No-more, Too-late, Farewell, 2013. Paper, textile, wood, and metal, dimensions variable.

Geoffrey Farmer


The Curve, Barbican Art Gallery

Geoffrey Farmer’s The Surgeon and the Photographer consists of 365 puppets (one for every day of the year) constructed of collaged elements from second-hand books and magazines combined with intricate supports and fabric bodies. The puppets are a motley crew, with film stars rubbing shoulders with soldiers and artists. Even Einstein and Picasso make an appearance. Dramatically spot lit, and in groups of varying size, the glamorous and the grotesque marched through the ellipse of the Barbican’s 90-meter-long Curve Gallery in an unsettling procession. Displayed on plinths at eye level, they bear the marks of their making and have the DIY aesthetic of the obsessional hobbyist or outsider artist. And in our digital age, they appear wilfully backward in their use of print media. The puppets poke fun at how attire and self-presentation are culturally coded and reference pop culture through advertising slogans and packaging…see the entire review in the print version of June’s Sculpture magazine.