What do words mean? I mean, really mean? And does anyone care anymore? Adam Farcus channels this semiotics question through a sea of social justice, keeping the theoretical grounded in reality. Speaking of reality, one of three pieces in Farcus’s mini-show is a readymade painting bought at T.J.Maxx for $4.99: AVOID REALITY AT ALL COSTS, it instructs in harsh graphics. It would make the perfect gift for a climate-change denier, as would Farcus’s artist book “Rise,” a bibliographic poem that charts instances of the titular word appearing in a long list of ecological and apocalyptic books, by authors ranging from Cormac McCarthy to Vandana Shiva. It’s a depressing reading list, but all fun is not lost. Farcus’s final object is a model boat, a simple handmade wooden toy painted military gray, or “Approaching Storm,” as the paint manufacturer puts it. And indeed the storm is fast approaching, in fact it’s already hit hard, in coastal cities washed away by tsunamis and Midwestern towns done in by tornadoes. But don’t let that worry you, Mr. Climate-Change Denier, just play with these presents—and try not to get a splinter on the rough edge of the boat.
—Lori Waxman 3/26/16 2:00 PM