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Jehanne-Marie Gavarini

Jehanne-Marie Gavarini, M.F.A. Professor - Emerita
  • College
    College of Fine Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Department
    Art & Design Department
  • Phone
    (978) 934-3585
  • Office
    Mahoney Hall - 1st Floor
  • Email

Research Interests

Art, Visual Studies, Visual Culture, New Media, Electronics, Post-Internet Culture, Posthumanism, Anthropocene Studies, Sustainability, Postcolonial Studies, Gender Studies, Translation.


Jehanne-Marie Gavarini is a visual artist whose work has been exhibited extensively nationally and internationally. In addition to her artistic work, Gavarini writes about art, European cinema and visual culture. She is co-translator of Tomboy (University of Nebraska Press, 2007), an autobiographical novel by acclaimed Franco-Algerian writer Nina Bouraoui.

Recent publications include:

“Un Attracteur étrange au cœur d’Ivry” in INDEX: 30 ans du Centre d'art contemporain d'Ivry-Le Crédac. Paris: Editions Dilecta: 2018

“Shifting Sands: Imaginary Space and National Identity in Cédric Klapisch’s Peut-être.” Postcolonial Film: Imaging Identity, Culture and Resistance. Rebecca Weaver-Hightower, Peter Hulme, editors. New York and London: Routledge, 2014.

“Visual and Linguistic Frontiers in Abdellatif Kechiche’s L'Esquive.” Frontiers of Screen History: Imagining European Borders in Cinema, 1945–2010. Raita Merivirta, Kimmo Ahonen, editors. Bristol, (UK: Intellect, 2013).

“Rewind: The Will to Remember, the Will to Forget in Michael Haneke’s Caché” in Millennial Cinema: Memory in Global Film (Columbia University Press, 2012)

Book review: Cristina Johnston (2010) French Minority Cinema. Film-Philosophy, North America, Vol 16, No 1 (2012)

“Intimate Passports: The Subversive Performances of Tanja Ostojić”, Aspasia: The International Yearbook of Central, Eastern, and Southeastern European Women's and Gender History (Volume 5, Spring 2011)

“Permeable Borders in Notre Musique” in Zoom in Zoom out: Crossing Borders in Contemporary European Cinema (Cambridge Scholars Press, 2007)

"In the Still of the Museum: Jean-Luc Godard's Sixty Year Voyage", Postmodern Culture (Volume 17, Number 1, September 2006)


This body of work originated in Massachusetts as I was preparing for my Artist Residency at De Liceiras 18 in Porto, Portugal. At the time, I was trying to figure out what the city and Portuguese landscape would look like. The Internet did not allow me to teleport, but it was a convenient tool to anticipate, construct mental projections and plan for my trip. Nevertheless, while technology expands our sense of control over our environment and the global world, are we losing some of the surprises, discoveries, mystery and fears that used to constitute the core of traveling before GPS forever changed our relationship to space and time?

Mulling over such questions, I digitally transformed the fragments of maps downloaded before my trip and used them in this series of drawings, which juxtapose and blend organic and industrial forms. Like memes, the drawings share a common matrix before they take on a life of their own. The imagery calls to mind satellite dishes, drones, telephone towers, heating elements, or bits and pieces of machinery. In the midst of these overlaid components, the viewer might see an insect, imagine a cartoony face, or make out parts of organic systems. The process relies on digital imaging. The crisscrossing of the lines, the flatness and overlapping of the shapes suggest the transformation of our Imaginary and the over-abundance of visual stimulation in the age of super-information.

The hanging piece derives directly from a Googlemap search for De Liceiras 18. In this piece, the territory is no longer being examined from above. On the contrary, hovering over the room, the map itself becomes the subject of the surveillance.


Overgrown is a large installation created for the David Winton Bell Gallery at Brown University’s List Art Center. Overgrown resembles an imaginary garden. The installation consists of oversized sculptures that evoke carnivorous flowers and other suggestive life forms. As a whole, Overgrown’s elements look biomorphic, but these organisms also spring from remnants of consumer culture. Found objects, hard plastics and soft materials are combined in seamless and humorous pieces that could be the product of someone’s dream or imagination. Likewise, they could be the result of human activities such as our recent discoveries in biotechnology or our mad consuming habits


This body of work is created by GavART a faux-art company that redesigns design. GavART produces quirky companions and eccentric electronics for today’s discerning consumers. The series combines found objects, hard plastics and soft fabrics with circuit boards and electronic components. 

GavART uses recycled materials whenever possible, making each piece unique. We dare not pretend that our products are green or sustainable because of our use of electronics and our love of the smell of melting solder. The fake fur used in our products neither intends to emulate, nor condone the killing of animals for fashion. Rather, it represents a functional decision based on our sense of aesthetics and humor. Our products are cruelty-free and not tested on animals.