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New art comes to life

February 25th, 2019

Geoffrey Farmer. Still image from Look in my face; my name is Might-have-been; I am also called No-more, Too-late, Farewell, 2013. Computer generated algorithmic montage sequence projection, Aspect Ratio: 4:3. Purchased with funds from David & Yvonne Fleck, the Dr. Michael Braudo Canadian Contemporary Fund, the Ivey Foundation Contemporary Art Endowment Fund, the Janet & Michael Scott Fund, and the Contemporary Circle Fund, 2015. © Geoffrey Farmer 2015/14

The AGO’s Vivian & David Campbell Centre for Contemporary Art is alive with the sounds, images and sculptures of renowned contemporary artists including Geoffrey Farmer, Adrián Villar Rojas and Pierre Huyghe. Walk through the gallery spaces and see for yourself how these artists are confronting what is and has been, in their own terms.

Here’s some of what you’ll see:

Geoffrey Farmer

Canadian artist Geoffrey Farmer uses found materials to create complex installations. His works are often accompanied by layers of sound and mechanics to deepen their stories. Farmer’s Look in my face; my name is Might-have-been; I am also called No-more, Too-late, Farewell is a montage of approximately 7,000 images and 1,200 sounds carefully cut from various books, archives and publications. Driven by a computer-generated algorithm that pairs the sounds and images according to loose parameters, the artwork is neither random nor predictable – its combinations often jarring, sometimes contemplative, never expected. As Farmer told the Toronto Star in 2016, instilling that uncertainty in the viewer is just what he was hoping for. “What I wanted here was a bit more ambiguous, so the viewer could bring their own experience to it,” Farmer said. “There’s that question: When do you release yourself from it? That’s why I like the idea of it being a fountain: It’s ceaseless, it just does its thing, and you might sit and watch the water forming and flowing and just think.”

Pierre Huyghe

Pierre Huyghe’s practice expands and challenges our idea of what art can be. The French artist’s sculpture, Untilled, made its first public appearance in Toronto in 2016 as part of the Luminato Festival and is part of the AGO Collection. Filmed in 2012 in a park in Kassel, Germany, A Way in Untilled documents the sculpture’s original environment as engineered by the artist. The 14-minute film shows how living organisms, including bees, insects, plants and animals, interact with and ultimately transform Untilled.

Pierre Huyghe, A Way in Untilled, 2012. Film, HD video, color, sound, 14 min. Purchased with the assistance of the David Yuile and Mary Elizabeth Hodgson Fund and the Richard Ivey Foundation Contemporary Art Fund, 2013. © Pierre Huyghe. Photo courtesy of the artist; Marian Goodman, New York; Esther Schipper, Berlin

Adrián Villar Rojas

From sprouting plant life to an unfired clay replica of Kurt Cobain, Argentinian artist Adrián Villar Rojas’s work rises from an angular brick base to show us aspects of our culture and ourselves. The artwork’s many pieces are mounted on shelving designed to resemble archaeological material displays. Part of the artist’s larger body of work entitled Today We Reboot the Planet, first shown at the Serpentine Sackler Gallery in London, this installation is heavy with sentiments of decay and renewal. Through his work Rojas asks: what if we could see and think of humanity from an alien perspective?

Don’t miss these stimulating works and more, now on view on Level 4 in the Vivian & David Campbell Centre for Contemporary Art, included with General Admission.

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