Jeanne Dunning

February 19 – March 12, 2004

Press Release

For her exhibition in the main gallery, Jeanne Dunning has completed a group of photographs that expand on her previous investigations into the human body and its metaphoric potential. The Scattered Parts series presents bits of anatomy poking through small holes in swaths of cloth. Tongues, lips, fingers and toes are objectified and isolated in fields of black drapery, bringing to mind traditional still-life arrangements. These dramatic constellations of bodily fragments are theatrically menacing and refuse to coalesce back into a comprehensible body. It is as if in spite of this apparent disembodiment, the subject's parts remain pink, pulsing and alive. 

In another series of images Dunning uses the holes in transparent Halloween masks to separate and reconfigure parts of the face. Models wear clear masks upside down or sideways, and with our perception confused, we are disconcerted to find an eye peering through the opening of the mouth, or a stubbled chin where the eye should be. The see-through mask and the disguised or disfigured person behind it form an incomprehensible hybrid: the closer one looks, the less discernible the person becomes.

In two additional works, the scene is a bed covered in tossled white sheets. In one, only a single hand emerges from the sea of bedding, looking strangely bereft of the body it implies. In the other, a woman calmly sleeps with her arms and hands comfortably stretched across the covers around her; however, there are in fact three hands, all of which impossibly seem to be hers. 

With her latest photographs, Dunning juxtaposes the specificity of parts that make up a whole against the unrecognizable blur of a specific identity.

Jeanne Dunning has exhibited internationally and is represented in numerous private and public collections.