Jer Garver -- Artist Statement

     The creative work I manifest feels very much like an homage to my adolescence. Coming to age as LGBTQ in a Brazilian-American household was both visceral and euphoric. I often wondered where I fit amongst the strange Amazonian mythology recounted to me by my grandmother. In many ways I found myself to be just as queer as the infamous and degenerate boto goddess.

     Utilizing my childhood as a point of origin, my research looks at the power rested in vernacular- and words that are enlisted to describe overwhelming euphorias.

   Idioms like fantasy, nostalgia, paradise, saudade, are readily described and experienced, even though the spaces they occupy are quite ambiguous.

   Where do we locate paradise when one says, “I feel like I’m in paradise”? Is it site specific? As much a psychological niche, as it is an allusion to a spiritual realm, like in Dante’s colorful epic The Divine Comedy?  “Having old toys from my childhood is nostalgic.” Does nostalgia embody itself in objects, like mystic energy in totems,or moreover, is it a purely sentimental response from the cerebral (acclimated by today’s “throwback” obsessed culture)?

   My practice, which materializes as paintings or bricolage, and in some instances 35mm and 16mm film, is an attempt to navigate infinite conundrums and phenomena via the vast interdisciplinary spectrum. In a Duchampian fashion, it incorporates collage and assemblage to comment on prevailing histories, personal and societal. With a theatrical enthusiasm for proto-cinema and a Romantic sensibility for the sublime, my work utilizes light and darkness to provoke bodily stimuli, and a contemplative state. I believe we are instinctively enlightened in the dark; our hair’s stand on end, our pupil’s enlarge, haunted, we toss and turn at night, re-asking ourselves the most basic Socratic questions.


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