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Standing In Between Two Mirrors: Queer Reflections in the Work of Geoffrey Farmer


Standing In Between Two Mirrors: Queer Reflections in the Work of Geoffrey Farmer

Lujan Torres, Hanss (2023) Standing In Between Two Mirrors: Queer Reflections in the Work of Geoffrey Farmer. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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This thesis offers a queer reading of the artistic practice of Canadian artist Geoffrey Farmer (b.1967) by situating queerness as the foundation for Farmer’s approach to artmaking. This thesis considers Farmer’s practice between 1992 and 2017, contextualizing the artist’s work within the shifting landscape of LGBTQ+ politics. This twenty-five-year frame contemplates the different realities for gay men, from the peak of the AIDS crisis to the legalization of same-sex marriage in North America. This thesis comprises of three chapters that examine the artist’s engagements with the future, past, and present. The author employs queer theory as a lens to consider Farmer’s vast practice as it provides a historical and theoretical framework that unfolds alongside the artist’s career. Various concepts from studies on queer temporalities are applied to make sense of the artist’s relation to time and better comprehend his depictions of it. Chapter 1 examines the artist’s emerging career in the 1990s and explores early works that depicted homosexual desire and advocated for gay identity. Early drawings, videos, and installations inspired by science fiction and popular culture are read here for aspects of queer futurity. Chapter 2 focuses on Farmer’s practice in the 2000s and analyzes his better-known installations that deconstruct and re-organize space and time. The author maps Farmer’s interests in archives and reads his disruptive acts as efforts of ‘queering’ the past. This research culminates with a critical reading of the artist’s installation, a way out of the mirror (2017), at the Canada pavilion for the fifty-seventh Venice Biennale. Chapter 3 examines how this prestige coincided with the country’s sesquicentennial anniversary, also known as ‘Canada 150.’ The author contemplates the artist’s personal narratives platformed on this national stage during this political moment through readings of homonationalism to unpack what was at stake in the present. Throughout the thesis, the author argues for the need and value of applying a queer perspective to Farmer’s work as it offers a nuanced understanding of the artist’s illustrious career.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Fine Arts > Art History
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Lujan Torres, Hanss
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Art History
Date:14 August 2023
Thesis Supervisor(s):Potvin, John
Keywords:contemporary art; queer theory; queer temporality
ID Code:992611
Deposited By: Hanss Lujan Torres
Deposited On:14 Nov 2023 19:14
Last Modified:14 Nov 2023 19:14
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