Propeller (Pale Fire Freedom Machine), 2005
dye coupler print
frame: 124.9 x 94.5 x 5.2 cm
National Gallery of Canada (no. 41839)
© Geoffrey Farmer Photo © NGC
These photographs were produced in parallel with Geoffrey Farmer's exhibition "A Pale Fire" at Toronto's Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery in 2005. Farmer amassed hundreds of pieces of used wooden furniture in ordered piles in the gallery and turned the space into a kind of processing factory. Each morning, a worker selected items of furniture and stripped and disassembled them to produce a stack of wood. Gallery attendants used the wood to keep a fire going in an elliptical fireplace suspended from the ceiling - the "Gyrofocus," designed by Dominique Imbert in 1968. They then collected the ash and used it to make ink to print posters citing workplace mottoes such as ORDERLINESS IS NEXT TO GODLINESS and A TIDY WORKER IS A HAPPY WORKER taken from a list of Farmer had found taped to a desk. These photographs salvage or memorialize the furniture that was broken up and burned.