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Art & Art History
University of Mississippi

Dason Pettit

Instructional Assistant Professor of Art

MFA, 2018, Louisiana State University


Bio/Artist Statement:
Equally inspired by cinema, literature, and philosophy, Dason Pettit’s photographic work often explores notions of stability and memory within the narrative framework. Disintegration and distortion are key themes within his work and they reveal multiple perspectives regarding subject matter. Metaphor functions as a way to represent analogous ideas within one body of work and also provide a context that deepens the relationship of the images to each other.

Viewers are invited to consider multiple questions within his work: what constitutes a memory and how does the substance of memory change over time? Why do we remember certain things? Why do those memories hold importance for us? How are our memories connected? Around these philosophical inquiries, Mr. Pettit forms work that challenges the notion of meaning, confronts the concept of belief and, somewhere between the two, embraces the complexity of possibility.

What are you up to? 
I’m currently juggling a few different photographic projects. I’m still working on the long-form work, Scattered Feathers, but recently I’ve been developing a project I call Built on Ashes, a work that explores occurrences in and around Oxford , MS. The work begins by examining areas of construction and new growth, but expands to encompass themes of identity, possession and reclamation. I’m interested in the complexity and contradiction that can emerge in a photographic series and I feel like this one touches on narratives that conflict with each other at times. I’m also at work on a short-run zine publication called, Over the Hill, Down by the Water, in the Fire… exploring dreams and the South. Look for it sometime later this year.

Current Occupation?
I currently work as a photographer/videographer for the University of Mississippi College of Liberal Arts. In addition to my work for the College, I manage the Art Department darkroom and digital facilities.

You can follow me on Instagram, @dasonpettit74