Garrett Phelan (b. 1965, Dublin, Ireland) works with a variety of mediums in order to engage with his audience, including site-specific drawing projects, FM radio broadcasts, sculpture, animation, and photography. Phelan chooses to incorporate radio broadcasts, a particularly unconventional artistic platform, into his work in order to explore the processes through which values and ideas enter society.
One of Phelan’s recent solo exhibitions, A VOODOO FREE PHENOMENON at the Projects Art Centre in Dublin, delved into the realm of cultural anthropology, raising questions about whether or not we can truly be free from inherited social practices, symbols, history, established belief systems, and other constructions and institutions. An assemblage consisting of a microphone attached to an “undiscovered Celtic gold from 2500 BCE” leads us to wonder how history is preserved in our memory and interacts with the present, and whether or not these two objects can ever be detached from each other in our collective cultural mindset.
Phelan’s works have been shown at the Irish Museum of Modern Art, BOZAR Centre for Fine Arts (Brussels), and MoMA PS1 (Queens). He continues to live and work in Dublin, Ireland.
RxART worked with Garrett Phelan in 2013 to install his works in an outpatient clinic waiting area at New York City’s Metropolitan Hospital.