Geoffrey Farmer: If You Want To See Something Look at Something Else (Allen Ginsberg 1926-1997)

June – September 2019

Geoffrey Farmer

Geoffrey Farmer, If You Want To See Something Look at Something Else (Allen Ginsberg 1926-1997), 2011 (Installation detail)

Western Bridge announces the first U.S. public presentation of Geoffrey Farmer’s fifty-part photographic installation If You Want To See Something Look at Something Else (Allen Ginsberg 1926-1997), this summer in Seattle’s Volunteer Park.

If You Want To See Something… consists of 50 framed photographs of Allen Ginsberg taken from various moments in the writer’s life, each mounted to a tree in a wooded area. Like other works by the artist that use found imagery, If You Want To See Something isolates images and figures from their original contexts, rearranging their chronologies and relationships. The space of the woods becomes like a theatrical set, where a collectivity of characters emerges from a single figure throughout phases of his long and influential life.

The presence of Allen Ginsberg in Volunteer Park, a site with strong links to the city’s LGBTQ communities and history, offers reflection on an individual who inspired cultural consciousness through art and action.

If You Want To See Something Look at Something Else will be on view near the Volunteer Park amphitheater from mid-June to mid-September, 2019. In conjunction with the installation, Hugo House will present a program of readings and staged performances focused on Allen Ginsberg Saturday, June 22, 2-4pm at the Volunteer Park amphitheater. Many thanks to City of Seattle Parks and Recreation and the Volunteer Park Trust for helping to make this installation and event possible.

See the Hugo House lineup for June 22:

Read about Geoffrey Farmer’s 2015 mid-career survey at Vancouver Art Gallery:

Geoffrey Farmer (b. 1967 Vancouver, BC) lives and works in Kauai. Over the course of twenty years, his work has been exhibited at the Migros Museum of Contemporary Art in Zurich; the Louvre in Paris; Documenta 13 in Kassel; the Tate Modern in London; the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; and the Musée d’Art Contemporain de Montréal, among others. Farmer represented Canada at the 2017 Venice Biennale. He is represented by Catriona Jeffries, Vancouver, and Casey Kaplan, New York.

Western Bridge was founded in 2004 as an art exhibition space in Seattle’s Duwamish industrial district, exhibiting works from the collection of William and Ruth True. Since closing the exhibition space in 2012, Western Bridge has evolved into an itinerant art initiative, commissioning artwork for non-traditional spaces, and siting works in public.