In recent work, I conjure the spirit of historian, archaeologist or sightseer in order to mirror narratives of nation building, the exotic or nostalgic past. Official and unofficial voices emanate throughout the work, mimicking how personal memories are defined by and carved out of the collective or artifact. Visual acts of repetition, negative/positive inversions, and many hidden layers of material process and labor allude to pattern creation/misrecognition, altered scripts, or public records boxed up and stored in the dark.

Projects evolve out of reading and researching histories I feel connected to. Sometimes this connection is polemic or political; and other times, tenuous and inexplicable yet unshakably palpable. Unsettling truths and excisions are revealed while sifting through archives, leading me to treat history as documented performance. Scale-jumping from the local to national and epic to personal fragment, the images, objects and actions I create often go to work like good little worker bees, performing double duty as commemoration, public memory or revisionism. Popular folklore shares space with artistic legacy, oral history expands into monument, and the tourist becomes eyewitness reporter and performer. Portraits of alienation, ingratiation and masculinity frequently get pushed around, often back into scenery where they function as backdrops and coordinates to locate, pose, and refract conceptions of identity in formation or splitting at the seams.

Garrick Imatani takes and makes images, objects, and actions that range from graphite documents, cyanotypes, and documentary video to figurative sculpture, tours, and collaborative public events. He is the recipient of several grants and awards, including from the Oregon Arts Commission, Maine Arts Commission, and Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. Solo and collaborative exhibition venues include the University of Oregon’s White Box, Ditch Projects (Springfield, OR), Center on Contemporary Art (Seattle), Portland Community College and Washington State University at Vancouver. Other group exhibition and public sites include streets, waterways, schools, the Queens Museum, Art in General, Asian American Arts Centre (NYC), Contemporary Artists Centre (North Adams, MA), and the Institute for Contemporary Art at Maine College of Art. He holds an MFA in Visual Arts from Columbia University and resides in Portland, Oregon where he is the Studio Head of Foundations and Assistant Professor of Art at Lewis & Clark