Prior to the opening of Alex Farrar’s new exhibition at Bloc Projects, the show was simply referred to as: “Alex Farrar: The exhibition will be titled after its installation.” The lack of title ahead of the launch has been more than made up for in the nine-line name it now boasts. Fall, slump, drop on a bedside cabinet in water… – which is a significantly shortened version of the title – is a description of the way Farrar has positioned sandbags dressed in loungewear around the space.
Without context in the gallery the list of verbs could very much seem like a stream of commands for the audience. A clever move by Farrar, who has subtly directed us to draw parallels between our own physicality and those drooping sandbags. This is an exhibition about despairing bodies, collapsing under the weight of a climate catastrophe. It feels uncomfortably familiar.
To make matters worse, the gallery has flooded. Literally. The artist has covered the floor with a thin layer of water that laps up against his salvaged bits of domestic furniture draped with dressed sandbags. As we slosh through the water a strange quietness descends on the gallery; this water isn’t playful, it brings a serious sobriety to proceedings, forcing us to consider the desperate individuals picking through their homes, in their pyjamas as the water rises – a scene that will only become more familiar as the climate disaster accelerates. In his introductory text George Vasey refers to the small Welsh village of Fairbourne that is disappearing under the sea. I start to slump like a sandbag.