Ancestors  | Events Calendar
Rachel Farmer, Ancestors Crossing Church Parking Lot, photograph, 2010

Rachel Farmer


Opening from

On View

A.I.R. Gallery | 111 Front Street, #228

Artist Talk: Thursday, November 7, 6:30pm

A.I.R. Gallery is pleased to announce Ancestors, by Fellowship Artist, Rachel Farmer. This is Farmer’s first solo exhibition in New York City.

Ancestors brings together a body of work created in 2010–13, incorporating hand-built ceramic sculpture, photography, and video. As a child of the American West (and a descendant of Mormon pioneers), Farmer was steeped in regional folklore passed down through family, religion, and mass media. “I am captivated by stories of my ancestors – both my Mormon pioneer ancestors and my pioneering queer ancestors,” states Farmer. “I often try to collapse the two, creating a new ancestry.”

Farmer creates ceramic figurines of pioneer women in action. Small enough to pick up in your hand, these women are engaged in various forms of labor, interspersed with occasional moments of rest and recreation. While they are showcased independently as sculptures, these frozen actors also populate her photos and videos. Farmer traveled out west with her sculptures – retracing the original Oregon Trail in Wyoming, eventually ending up in her home state of Utah. As her pale figures interacted with a contemporary western landscape, her video camera captured the absurdity of the situation: women toiling motionless as modern life moved around and past them.
Through her work, Farmer asks a series of interrelated questions: “What gets passed down through generations? What is memorialized and what is left behind, or willfully forgotten? What mythologies guide, or haunt our lives – both knowingly, or unknowingly? And how does queerness complicate a relationship with these mythologies?”

Rachel Farmer is based in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. She received her M.F.A. from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and she teaches at MoMA, the Whitney Museum and Parsons The New School for Design. Recent exhibits include Illegitimate and Herstorical, curated by Emily Roysdon (A.I.R. Gallery, 2012) and #throwbackthursday / #flashbackfriday, juried by Scott Chasse and Hrag Varatanian (Calico, 2013). For more on the artist, visit www.rachelfarmer.com

A.I.R. Gallery is located at 111 Front Street, #228, in the DUMBO neighborhood of Brooklyn. Gallery hours: Wed.–Sun., 11am to 6pm. The gallery will be closed November 27–29 for Thanksgiving. For directions please visit www.airgallery.org. For additional information please contact the Interim Director, JoAnne McFarland, at 212-255-6651 or info@airgallery.org.





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