Julie Lara Kahn is a Miami-based interdisciplinary artist who incorporates photography, film, food and vernacular objects into participatory art projects. Her work blurs the boundaries of performance, visual art, and the marketplace, ranging aesthetically from a tasting of 150 undulating rows of breakfast cereal to a videotaped focus-group of Miami cereal stories to a set of baseball trading cards of the Miami art community. By luring viewers into the creative process through the taste of a childhood food, an unexpected interaction, or the quiet pleasure of olfactory sensation, she coaxes viewers into sharing vulnerability, awakening intimate personal memories and responding both intellectually and emotionally to questions about connectedness – to body, family, corporation, community, land and food chain.
Kahn graduated from Harvard with an MBA and a BA in East Asian Studies. She has worked as a disc jockey at KBNA- Tokyo, an investment banker at Morgan Stanley, an A&R administrator at Columbia Records, and a freelance producer for Annie Leibovitz. She draws on her experiences in the music industry, commercial photography and investment banking to raise questions about how marketing and consumption replace our own true stories with manufactured corporate narratives – ultimately affecting our own sense of connectedness and identity.
For the past seven years, she has been exhibiting her artwork, screening films and staging participatory art projects aimed at deepening intimacy, creating dialogue, accessing true stories, and blurring boundaries not only among diverse artistic disciplines but also among people, places and communities. Her work has been exhibited in over 30 shows and is in collections both nationally and internationally. She recently received a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities through the Florida Humanities Council and is currently exhibiting work at the US Embassy Brasilia and the US Consulate Istanbul as part of the Art in Embassies as well as M&M Proyectos as part of Puerto Rico 04. She is in development on a project entitled Swamp Cabbage: Cracker Culture in a Fast Food Nation which will open with a wild game tasting at Locust Projects in Miami in May 2005.