Farm and Friends – in 3D!
September 7 – October 12, 2019
Opening Reception: Saturday, September 7th, 6 – 9pm
Closing Reception: Saturday, October 12th, 2 – 4pm
A presentation of the 3D film, Farm
Written and Directed by Dale Hoyt
Produced by David Lawrence
with performances and additional artwork by
Monet Clark, Cliff Hengst, Fred Rinne, Beth Stephens & Annie Sprinkle,
Gabrielle Thormann, Mary Elizabeth Yarbrough, and Steve Thurston
Set amidst the lush greenery of an urban farm, Dale Hoyt’s 3D film, Farm, juxtaposes the idyllic charm of the natural landscape with the emotional fragility and strife-laden difficulty of social life. Through a series of parallel scenes, the film tells the story of a father-daughter pair with an incestuous past and a perverse preoccupation with serial murder; a man trying to teach another - an imbecile – how to make a “cat’s cradle,” until his student puts the yarn to other more destructive uses; and a family that violently turns against an outsider as a scapegoat for their frustrations and disappointments. Written and directed in Hoyt’s characteristically distilled and disturbing style, the characters in Farm suffer interpersonal conflicts that make the romantic promise of a return to nature seems like a palliative fantasy, offered to assuage the pain that we too often cause each other. Indeed, the hustle and bustle of city life is easy to see through the green leaves of the film’s setting, as if threatening to overtake the farm eventually. In fact, as the film was being shot, the farm was being dismantled – its promise of a simpler life a casualty of San Francisco’s cutthroat development boom.
The exhibition, Farm and Friends – in 3D!, expands upon the themes in Hoyt’s film by presenting it in conjunction with works by the artists who perform in the movie, including Monet Clark, Cliff Hengst, Fred Rinne, Beth Stephens & Annie Sprinkle, Gabrielle Thormann, Mary Elizabeth Yarbrough, and Steve Thurston. Hoyt’s cast is comprised of friends and occasional collaborators who, like him, are long-standing stalwarts of the Bay Area’s art and film communities. Their artistic strategies are different, and none of their work expresses the same degree of psychological dissonance as Hoyt’s films, but they register and address many of the same orienting concerns: the excesses of love and desire, the travails of city and social life, disillusionment in the face of nature’s destruction, and the difficulties that make us who we are in all of our eccentric glory. Indeed, they themselves present a loose network of singular characters, who have found a way to soldier forward, even to thrive, while the place where they live has been re-built and dismantled.
Image credit: film still from Farm by Dale Hoyt