Originally from the high desert, Megan Berner is a visual artist living and working in Reno, Nevada. She graduated with her MFA in Intermedia from the University of Iowa in 2008 with a minor in drawing. Megan works with digital and experimental techniques such as instant film, digital transfers, and cyanotypes. Her work is greatly influenced by the landscape of her native Nevada home as well as the vast prairies of the Midwest, being a twin, mapping and exploration, and countless hours of daydreaming. She creates site-specific installations that incorporate video and sound and constructs performative scenes that ultimately exist as photographs. Other forms her artwork takes include artist's books, collaborative interactions, textile projects, and narrative videos. Megan's work has been shown nationally and internationally and is part of multiple collections including the Center for Art and Environment at the Nevada Museum of Art, University of Arizona Art Museum, the University of Iowa Special Collections, and Southern Graphics Council International Archive.
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Coming from a desert home, I have always been drawn to more desolate, inhospitable, and subtle landscapes—places that seem to only show themselves to those who spend time in them and seek out what they have to offer. For me, they invite introspection and reflection on the complexity of human-place relationships and our own internal-external manifestations of these relationships. I am particularly interested in mirages and other light phenomena as visual representations of the liminal spaces of these relationships.
In my work, I explore the ways we interact with our environment—how we form relationships with it and how those connections influence our interpretation of the world around us—what marks we leave behind, the experiences—intangible and manifest, and the action of moving through or being in a place. All of us have different places that we can claim to be our own because of our unique experiences there. The idea of place becomes much more internalized and individual. Memories and experiences, those things we carry with us, are projected onto the present landscape, our own personal maps and reference points.
I am interested in liminal spaces, internal and external—spaces that are transitional and in-between, not quite here or there. Mirages and other light phenomena, states of meditation, suspended moments, and dream states all occupy this kind of territory. I manipulate the surface of the photograph through multiple exposures and layering to invite the viewer into a more personal and psychological experience of the space.
Whether through reinterpreted historical photographs of explorers, vistas of sunrises, interactive installations of flag poetry, or letterpressed artist’s books, I am interested in creating spaces for daydreaming, exploration, and discovery to occur.