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2020 SPE Annual Conference: Hosted by The University of Houston | Kathrine G. McGovern College of the Arts | School of Art

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Every Breath We Drew

Related Member: Jess Dugan

The Grunwald Gallery at Indiana University is pleased to present Every Breath We Drew, photographs by Jess Dugan. This series has been widely published and noted as one of the most important series of photographs depicting intimacy and identity within gender and sexually diverse communities. The exhibit will open on August 6 and continue through October 4, 2019. The artist will be present on September 13 to participate in several public programs including a McKinney Visiting Artist Lecture at 5pm followed by a reception.

Jess Dugan states:

"Every Breath We Drew explores the power of identity, desire, and connection through portraits of myself and others. Working within the framework of queer experience and from my actively constructed sense of masculinity, my portraits examine the intersection between private, individual identity and the search for intimate connection with others. I photograph people in their homes and personal spaces, using medium and large format cameras to create a deep, sustained engagement, resulting in an intimate and detailed portrait.

I combine portraits of individuals, couples, and self-portraits to investigate broader themes of identity and connection while also speaking to my personal experience. The photographs of men and masculine individuals act as a kind of mirror; they depict the type of gentle masculinity I am attracted to, and also the kind I want to embody. Similarly, the photographs of relationships speak to a drive to be seen, understood, and desired through the eyes of another person; a reflection of the self as the ultimate intimate connection."

Rather than attempting to describe a specific identity or group, the gender identity and sexual orientation of the individuals varies greatly- Every Breath We Drew asks larger questions about how identity is formed, desire is expressed, and intimate connection is sought.

The exhibition will provide an opportunity to address the political and cultural nuances of gender, inclusion, and representation. Within an academic context, Ms. Dugan's work has implications across disciplines and research institutes including Fine Arts, Gender Studies, The Kinsey Institute, and American Studies, to name a few. In addition to the expansive, interdisciplinary dialogue sparked by Ms. Dugan's work, she is a generous workshop leader and adept at working with students to provide feedback on creative research and career development.

About Jess Dugan

Jess T. Dugan (American, b. 1986 Biloxi, MS) is an artist whose work explores issues of identity, gender, sexuality, and community. She received her MFA in Photography from Columbia College Chicago (2014), her Master of Liberal Arts in Museum Studies from Harvard University (2010), and her BFA in Photography from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design (2007).

Dugan has exhibited at venues including the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, the Aperture Foundation, the Museum of Contemporary Photography, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the San Diego Museum of Art, the Cornell Fine Arts Museum at Rollins College, the Catherine Edelman Gallery, The Transformer Station, and at many colleges and universities throughout the United States.

Public collections include the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Museum of Contemporary Photography, the Harvard Art Museums, the Birmingham Museum of Art, the St. Louis Art Museum, the Grand Rapids Art Museum, the Archive of Documentary Arts at Duke University, the Cornell Fine Arts Museum at Rollins College, the Fred and Laura Ruth Bidwell Foundation, the Smith College Museum of Art, Light Work, Fidelity Investments, JP Morgan Chase, and the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction. Jess Dugan's work is published widely.

The exhibition and Symposium are made possible by the College Arts and Humanities Institute, the McKinney Visiting Artist Series, the Grunwald Gallery and the Eskenazi School of Art, Architecture + Design at Indiana University.

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