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"Every breath we drew" explores the power of identity, desire, and connection through portraits of myself and others.
"Every breath we drew" explores the power of identity, desire, and connection through portraits of myself and others.
316 backers pledged $23,848 to help bring this project to life.

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Every breath we drew: the project

For nearly a decade, artist Jess T. Dugan has been making photographic portraits that explore issues of gender, sexuality, identity, and community from a highly individual and humanistic point of view. Every breath we drew, Dugan’s most recent project, explores the power of identity, desire, and connection through portraits of herself and others. Working within the framework of queer experience and from her actively constructed sense of masculinity, Dugan’s portraits examine the intersection between private, individual identity and the search for intimate connection with others. She photographs people in their homes, often in their bedrooms, using medium and large format cameras to create a deep, sustained engagement, resulting in intimate and detailed portraits.

Ben, 2011
Ben, 2011

Dugan combines formal portraits, images of couples, self-portraits, and photographs of her own romantic relationship to investigate broader themes of identity and connection while also speaking to private, individual experience. The photographs of men and masculine individuals act as a kind of mirror; they depict the type of gentle masculinity Dugan is attracted to, yet also the kind she wants 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. Through beautifully intimate and honest portraits, Every breath we drew engages larger questions about how identity is formed, desire is expressed, and intimate connection is sought.

Herb, 2013
Herb, 2013

Every breath we drew Photobook

In September 2015, Every breath we drew will be published as a photobook by Daylight Books, a non-profit organization dedicated to publishing art and photography books.  By exploring the documentary mode along with the more conceptual concerns of fine-art, Daylight’s uniquely collectible publications work to revitalize the relationship between art, photography, and the world-at-large.

The release of the book will coincide with the opening of a solo museum exhibition at the Cornell Fine Arts Museum at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida organized by Curator Amy Galpin.  The hardcover book, Dugan's first monograph, will include approximately sixty color photographs as well as an essay by Galpin and an interview between the artist and internationally-renowned photographer Dawoud Bey. 

In addition to the initial book launch at the Cornell Fine Arts Museum, book release events are planned at the Catherine Edelman Gallery in Chicago, IL and at Gallery Kayafas in Boston, MA.  Kickstarter backers will be invited to all three book launches, as well as to any additional events or book signings following publication. 

Partial funding for the book is provided by the Cornell Museum of Fine Arts and by the Museum of Contemporary Photography, but its ultimate publication depends on your support.  Thank you for your help making this book possible.

Rewards

  • Handwritten postcard featuring an image from Every breath we drew- $10 level
  • A set of five postcards featuring images from Every breath we drew- $25 and $75 level
  • A signed copy of the book- $50 level
  • A 5 x 7, open edition photograph of any image from the series- $150 level
  • Limited-edition photographs: $300 and $1,000 level
  • Private, commissioned portrait by Jess T. Dugan: $2,500 level

The limited edition photographs come in two sizes.  At the $300 level, supporters can choose between 8 x 10 photographs of "Betsy, 2013" and "Carlos, 2013."  Both photographs are limited to a special Kickstarter edition of 25 and will not be available again at this price or in this size. 

Betsy, 2013
Betsy, 2013
Carlos, 2013
Carlos, 2013

At the $1,000 level, supporters receive a 16 x 20 print of "Pillows, 2013."  This photograph is limited to a special Kickstarter edition of 10 and will not be available again at this price or in this size.


Pillows, 2013
Pillows, 2013

Press for Every breath we drew

Feature on the New York Times Lens Blog.

The recent exhibition of Every breath we drew, exhibited simultaneously with August Sander's Just Women at Gallery Kayafas in Bostonwas reviewed by Edie Bresler for Photograph Magazine, by Mark Feeney for the Boston Globe, and by Elin Spring for What Will You Remember?

Every breath we drew was included in Making Pictures of People: Recent Perspectives on Photographic Portraiture, a collaboration between Flak Photo and the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.

Every breath we drew was released on Daylight Digital.

Feature in New City's “Breakout Artists 2013: Chicago’s Next Generation of Image Makers.”

Every breath we drew at the Schneider Gallery in Chicago, IL was reviewed in New City Art.

Every breath we drew was featured in Daylight Magazine's Alphabet of Light and on a Daylight Multimedia podcast.

Feature on Feature Shoot.

Feature on Light Leaked.

Feature in Issue 41 of Fraction Magazine.  

_________________________________________________________________

About Jess T. Dugan

Jess T. Dugan is an artist whose work explores issues of gender, sexuality, identity, and community.  She earned a BFA in Photography from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, a Master of Liberal Arts in Museum Studies from Harvard University, and an MFA in Photography from Columbia College Chicago.  

Jess’s work has been exhibited at the San Diego Museum of Art, the Griffin Museum of Photography, Gallery Kayafas (Boston, MA), Carroll and Sons Gallery (Boston, MA), the Schneider Gallery (Chicago, IL), Michael Mazzeo Gallery (New York, NY), JDC Fine Art (San Diego, CA), the Jennifer Schwartz Gallery (Atlanta, GA), the Leslie/Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, the RayKo Photo Center, the Photographic Resource Center at Boston University, and at many colleges and universities nationwide. 

Her photographs are in the permanent collections of the Harvard Art Museum, the Birmingham Museum of Art, the Center for Creative Photography at the University of Arizona, the Cornell Fine Arts Museum at Rollins College, the DePaul Art Museum, the Michele and Donald D'Amour Museum of Fine Arts, and the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction.  Her work is also included in the Midwest Photographer's Project at the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago, IL.  


Jess is represented by the Catherine Edelman Gallery in Chicago, IL and Gallery Kayafas in Boston, MA.

www.jessdugan.com

Risks and challenges

The risks and challenges when publishing a photobook include the possibility of delay, but Daylight Books is highly experienced at dealing with the production and printing challenges involved in making great photobooks. If this campaign is successful, we will do everything possible to make sure the book is published on time and released at the Cornell Fine Arts Museum opening reception on September 8, 2015.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Receive a handwritten postcard featuring an image from Every Breath We Drew and an invitation to the book launches in Orlando, Chicago, and Boston.

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Receive a set of five postcards featuring images from Every Breath We Drew and an invitation to the book launches in Orlando, Chicago, and Boston.

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    14 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Receive a signed copy of Every Breath We Drew and an invitation to the book launches in Orlando, Chicago, and Boston.

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    184 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    Receive a signed copy of Every Breath We Drew, a set of five postcards (see the $25 reward level), and an invitation to the book launches in Orlando, Chicago, and Boston.

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    16 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $90 or more About $90

    Receive TWO signed copies of Every Breath We Drew. Keep one for yourself and give one to a friend, library, museum, or school- or keep both for yourself! Backers at this level will also receive an invitation to the book launches in Orlando, Chicago, and Boston.

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    Receive a signed copy of Every Breath We Drew, a 5 x 7 photograph from the series (your choice!), a set of five postcards (see the $25 reward level), and an invitation to the book launches in Orlando, Chicago, and Boston.

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    14 backers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    Receive a signed copy of Every Breath We Drew and an 8 x 10 inch limited-edition photograph from the series, (Betsy, 2013), signed and numbered (edition of 25), available to Kickstarter backers only, and and an invitation to the book launches in Orlando, Chicago, and Boston.

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    Receive a signed copy of Every Breath We Drew and an 8 x 10 inch limited-edition photograph from the series, (Carlos, 2013), signed and numbered (edition of 25), available to Kickstarter backers only, and and an invitation to the book launches in Orlando, Chicago, and Boston.

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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Receive a signed copy of Every Breath We Drew and an 11 x 14 inch limited-edition photograph from the series, (Betsy, 2013), signed and numbered (edition of 10), available to Kickstarter backers only, and and an invitation to the book launches in Orlando, Chicago, and Boston.

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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Receive a signed copy of Every Breath We Drew and a 16 x 20 inch limited-edition photograph from the series, (Pillows, 2013), signed and numbered (edition of 10), available to Kickstarter backers only, and and an invitation to the book launches in Orlando, Chicago, and Boston.

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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $2,500 or more About $2,500

    Receive a private portrait session with Jess T. Dugan resulting in a 16 x 20 photograph (additional print sizes can be arranged). If outside of St. Louis, Chicago, or Boston, recipient must cover travel and lodging.

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Funding period

- (46 days)