Glen Farley

Glen Farley
Photo: Grethe Hald

Glen Farley chose quite late in life  to devote himself completely to the world of art. He brought with him his technical knowledge and lifelong fascination for putting familiar objects together into totally new constellations. With playfulness and an inquisitive mind, he has an obvious need to say something significant about our times, and to do so with political bite and psychological allusions, something the titles of his works often reveal. When the viewing public is fascinated by his moving objects, circle around and take in all that is happening, Farley has achieved much of what he set out to do. 

Motion is the central element in this art experience. The mechanics, which are a visible and important dimension of many other kinetic artworks, are hidden here, so only the pure motion of the objects remains. Despite the artist’s digital expertise acquired from an earlier career, there are few traces of electronics in these works. All the components are mechanical or electrical and have more to do with the peep shows and music boxes of the past than with the online world of today.

Faced with these artworks, the viewer may feel transported to an inventor’s workshop where exciting new narratives arise out of unexpected connections. The viewer might even get associations to fairy tales, such as a scene from Hans Christian Andersen, or a visit to an Alice in Wonderland, where anything can happen and no one is surprised to see a fly being spied upon by a wasp drone hovering above. 

Smiles and laughter are certainly allowed when viewing Glen Farley’s small, intricate and surprising works. However, as always when laughter is followed by contemplation, the experience becomes far more than shallow and transient humour. This art has a deeper effect on us.

Text: Grethe Hald
Translation: Glen Farley