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Opening Reception for Graph of Desire: A Retrospective Exhibit of Paintings by Mira Gerard

Thursday, September 27, 2018,

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  • Location: Divinity School Room G-20 • 412 21st Avenue South • Nashville, TN 37240
  • Room: G-20 (ground floor)

Artist's Statement - "I make paintings of the human figure as a way to understand desire, which functions in my work in part as a fantasy about being both subject and maker. For several years when I was growing up, my family lived in a small intentional community in rural New Hampshire with no TVs and with limited access to experiences of mainstream American culture in the 70's. I became fascinated with fairies and fairy tales, along with the meadows, stone walls and woods around me. During that time, I was a frequent subject of my father's paintings- usually depicted playing in fields of flowers in sun-drenched afternoon landscapes.

Ten years ago I quite literally stumbled into Lacanian psychoanalysis. It's a practice of speaking freely and in a very nonlinear way, which parallels studio processes of sorting through fragments, pieces of images and ideas, to make something new that remembers (re-members). I create staged photographs and videos and supplement those with screenshots, art historical references, and collage. I am specifically interested in figures or elements in landscapes and spaces, and in the implication of a kind of storyboard, a before-to-after. Because the process of painting itself feels necessarily perfomative and vulnerable, I try to communicate this through both content and approach. I have embraced traditional, old master forms of construction, with a method in place for the breakdown of those processes to occur, so that the paintings themselves are like landscapes and bodies- a physical manifestation of interruptions, scars, layers, and time."

Mira Gerard’s creative practice spans painting, performance, and video. She received her BFA from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana and her MFA from the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia. Her work has been exhibited at a wide range of venues. Her work was selected for New American Paintings #118 (Southeast Edition, 2015) and has been published in journals including Poets & Artists, The Cortland Review, and Manifest Painting International. She has presented papers and performance & video works on the intersection of art and psychoanalysis at conferences including the International Zizek Studies Conference, LACK, Psychology and the Other, and the Southeastern College Art Conference. She has been awarded fellowships for residencies at Ox-Bow School of Art, Cill Rialaig Project, The Hambidge Center, The Vermont Studio Center, and the Virginia Center for Creative Arts. Mira Gerard is Chair and Professor in the Department of Art & Design at East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, Tennessee where she has lived since 2001.