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 the trans and non-binary 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.