Glitch

Posted on May 28, 2015

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BY:ANNA SINGLETARY

In the summer of 2013, artist Adam Farmer opened up his house in the Cooper-Young district as a free art gallery called GLITCH.
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“A glitch is a mistake,” he said, “a small hiccup in time.” The gallery shows different art exhibits once a month, displayed in the main room of the house. Over the four years that Farmer has lived there, he has painted intricate designs and patterns on the walls and has collected various trinkets and pieces of art that all have their own stories behind them. His house looks like a life-size kaleidoscope. There are several “shrines in his backyard he created out of found objects to symbolize different points in his life.” Each addition to the gallery or the shrines is another hiccup in time. A glitch. Farmer himself calls it “purposeful improvisation.”

I had the fortunate opportunity to visit GLITCH on Friday, April 17th for the “The Truth is a Burden” exhibit by Eileen Townsend, a friend of Farmer’s. The gallery surrounds the tragic 1984 motorcycle accident and resulting death of 24-year-old Memphian James Donald Barton. Displayed at the front of the house was an old motorcycle shrine with flowers and candles, symbolizing the motorcycle death and memorial. Posted on one of the walls was his autopsy, which eerily stuck out against the zigzag patterned wall. It showed that he suffered multiple contusions and abrasions, and that the coroner found liquid in his lungs.

As Townsend further investigated the life of Barton, she found that he tried to make it as an actor in Los Angeles, only to return to Memphis where he worked as a janitor at the Hershey Company and made experimental short films. One of these films, which included the storyboard drawings of his love interest at the time, Jackie Campbell, played out the apocalyptic end of Memphis in the summer of 2015. These prophetic storyboards included unpredictable Memphis buildings that exist now but did not exist back then, like an “M” shaped bridge and pyramid with a “Bait Shop” sign plastered on the side. The accuracy and precision of Campbell’s drawings of the unpredictable Memphis skyline was truly haunting and captivating. All these images came to her in dreams. What we make of this is completely up to us.
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Townsend’s artist statement says, “We must be careful. We must be reasonable. But we also must seek the truth where it finds us, even if it finds us in dreams. All I can do is present the evidence, and pray that this is not what it seems.”

The May exhibit to be hosted at GLITCH entitled “Ver de Livre” (French for “A Call to Artists”) will feature different kinds of art books, such as sketchbooks, intimate journals, photo albums, or any kind of altered book. It is completely open to the Memphis community, meaning that anyone can submit their work or works. He got the idea when the Memphis College of Art offered to have an exhibit of ‘zines, which are small, handmade magazines of text or photos, at GLITCH. But Farmer wanted to open it up to any kind of book, not just ‘zines.

“Someone could burn a book and display the ashes,” said Farmer. He expects over 100 hundred different kinds of books to be submitted and put on display. The deadline to drop off these works is Saturday, May 9th, and the opening reception is Friday, May 22nd. After that, the gallery will only be open for viewing by appointment. He welcomes anyone in Memphis to submit their work, artist or not.

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Posted in: Arts