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Features / June 9, 2001

Hunchback Modern: The Art of Geoffrey Farmer

“…the poor unfortunate had become accustomed to seeing nothing of the world beyond the religious walls which had received him into their shadow. Notre-Dame had been successively as he grew and developed, his egg, his nest, his home, his country, his universe.”–Victor Hugo, Notre-Dame de Paris

“Vancouver is to [sic] close to the sea and all kind of people coming from all over the world with dope. I’m glad it’s cold here it keeps all those…”–Excerpt from found letter included in Hunchback Kit

When Geoffrey Farmer was invited to participate in the exhibition “6: New Vancouver Modern” in 1998, one of his ideas, later abandoned, was to contribute a video that would be shot from a helicopter as it flew from the Capilano Reservoir to the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery at UBC. For anyone familiar with Vancouver, this would take the viewer on a precipitous journey from the North Shore mountains and out across Burrard Inlet before cresting up the bluffs of Point Grey and on to the site of the exhibition on the university campus above. From a sweeping panorama of the city skyline to a tight close-up on the viewer’s location at the gallery, Farmer would foreground Vancouver’s internationally marketed image by returning the viewer to the place where he or she stands. Though unrealized, the idea is a starting point for understanding Farmer’s subsequent work.

So begins our Summer 2001 cover story. To keep reading, view a PDF of the entire article.