Garett Yahn (b. 1981 in La Crosse, WI) is an interdisciplinary artist whose work examines the territory shared by artist and artisan and the nature of cultural production outside of the city center. Often collaborative, his work provides a platform for sociability as it is concerned with the potential for artwork to explore the principles of relationships. Recently Garett has exhibited and performed at Infr’action 2010 in Sete, France, Mobius and Proof Galleries in Boston, MA, Steven F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, TX, and Drift Station in Lincoln, NE. Garett holds an MFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and bachelor’s degrees in Art Education and Studio Art from Viterbo University in La Crosse, WI. He currently lives and works in Boston.
Garett completed a summer residency at ACRE this year. Later on we will catch up with him about his practice, process and residency experience.
“My Mother at Work”: “My Mother at Work is part of a body of work that examines the personal, professional, and artistic territory I share with my parents. My mother is a Master Barber and Cosmetologist. At the exhibition opening she gave me a haircut during which we discussed her choice to pursue cosmetology and barbering. The performance sought to identify parallels between our professional trajectories while prodding the conventional boundaries of artistic practice and exploring the nature of cultural production outside of cosmopolitan city centers. “
“Pink Deck”: “For Pink Deck I applied two coats of pink latex paint to the back deck of a condemned house slated for demolition. The house was in my neighborhood and adjacent to it was an untended lot that had become a small woods. Painting the deck brought the house into new focus and my daily presence at the site persuaded the neighbors to experience the house and deck for themselves.”
“Real Estate Opportunities”: “Real Estate Opportunities, Fields Corner is a book featuring photographs of thirty available commercial real estate properties in the Fields Corner neighborhood of Dorchester, MA. Dorchester was the site of Lufthansa Studios, a warehouse turned experimental studio and alternative exhibition venue founded by myself and five other artists. Real Estate Opportunities invites discussion about the necessity of artist-run venues by calling attention to other sites available for use. The book imagines artists and our work functioning symbiotically within our neighborhoods. It is to be read as a solicitation of would-be collaborators.”
“Salon”: “Salon was a performance made with my mom. I built a temporary salon in the Atrium of the Museum School an my mother agreed to work two full days in the salon giving free haircuts to students and faculty. Adjacent to the barbershop I set up a portrait studio in which I photographed each participant after his or her haircut. The project explored my mother’s practice, which is skilled, aesthetic and relational in nature, and its affinity to contemporary art. By viewing her and her profession in an art context these affinities are highlighted as is the relational and dialogical fluency with which her skills, and her product, are delivered.”
“Work History”: “Work History is a collaboration between my father and I. I called my dad, put him on speakerphone, and asked him to explain his work history in relative detail. He began by recalling jobs he did as a boy and went on to describe over thirty years of work. This included his career as a homebuilder and his current job at a contract brewery. While he spoke I lathered my face and slowly gave myself a shave. During the conversation I went from being a son admiring my father’s breadth of experience to being the temporal personification of his voice recounting a life’s worth of work. Our distinctive voices merged.”