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The instability of vanity is perhaps one of visual art’s greatest selling point. And, in an understated way, when derelict man-made objects and places are pushed to the boundaries of their own self contained and easily understood offensiveness, they often transform into something beautiful. Scott Jarrett’s recent work aggregates the refuse of urban life to create reductive montages that are both surreal and magical. While Andy Goldsworthy meticulously curates what nature has provided, Scott Jarrett uses the remnants of city dwellers to provide moments in which the understood reality of place must recalibrate and exist in a secondary—albeit curated— dimension.
The notion of vacancy in Jarrett’s work is perhaps in part what drives the soporific quality of the installations which are ultimately presented as photographs. Jarrett seeks out ghostly locales and uses the emptiness to his advantage—piling white buckets past a boarded building and pushing a used mattress unapologetically against the window of an abandoned repair shop—situations that would lose their power in a world more populated.
The photographs begin to build a loosely qualitative narrative that is resonant with individual urban journeys as well as the notion of home. When understood as a whole the work begins to address a social consciousness rendered around historical absence, memory and loss.
Scott Jarrett received his M.F.A. in studio art from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and has exhibited internationally, including most recently, the 2010 International Sculpture Exhibition of Outstanding Art Graduates in Beijing, China.