Geoffrey Farmer’s A Way Out of the Mirror Floods the Canada Pavilion during the 57th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia

Geoffrey Farmer, A way out of the mirror, 2017. Installation view at the Canada Pavilion for the 57th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia,2017. © Geoffrey Farmer, Courtesy of the artist. Photo: Francesco Barasciutti.

Geoffrey Farmer will represent Canada at the Biennale Arte 2017, which coincides with the 150th anniversary of the country’s confederation. The exhibition, titled Viva Arte Viva, will be held from May 13 to November 26, 2017.

A way out of the mirror began with Farmer’s discovery of two unpublished press photographs dating back to 1955 that depict a collision between a train and a lumber truck driven by his paternal grandfather. Seventy-one brass planks, reminiscent of the lumber that was scattered at the scene of the accident, are part of the work. Other elements, including 3D-printed sculptures cast in aluminum and bronze, tell stories ranging from the relations between Italy and Canada after the Second World War to the artist’s own familial trauma, of luminaries Kathy Acker and Allen Ginsberg, and of Inuit teenagers residing in Cape Dorset, Nunavut.

Water is a powerful connector in Geoffrey Farmer‘s presentation and links imagery to the flow of liquid, from the “fountain of knowledge” to the constant “livestream of images” we are familiar with today.

Titled to reference the emotive writings of beat poet Allen Ginsberg, A way out of the mirror presents a new way of experiencing the Canada Pavilion, in which the architectural history of the building is entwined with the installation itself.

The presentation at the Biennale Arte 2017 takes place on the 60th anniversary of the construction of the Canada Pavilion, just as the building undergoes a major $3M restoration. The Canada Pavilion, restored to its original 1957 design, will be officially unveiled at the Biennale di Architettura of 2018.


Andrea Hammer
About Andrea Hammer 282 Articles
Andrea Karen Hammer is the founder, director and owner of Artsphoria Publishing, Media Group & Shop ( Artsphoria International Magazine (; Artsphoria Movie Reviews & Film Forum (; Artsphoria: Arts, Business & Technology Center (; Artsphoria Event Advertising & Reporting (; Artsphoria: Food for the Soul (; Artsphoria Animation & Imagination World ( and Artsphoria Shop ( She is a Philadelphia-based freelance writer who has published articles in international publications.

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