Michelle Murphy

is an Artist and Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of New Mexico.

“Post-Disney Depression” installation 2018

Murphy works to revise the exclusionary historical landscape of science and exploration. Her/Their lens-based and performance work encompasses futility and spectacle. Murphy performs in public locations, enacting gestural shifts to common, expected, or even suggested demographics or behaviors. Similarly, in her/their photographic and video work, Murphy employs lighting, optical effects, or durational changes to demonstrate a contrast between the aesthetics and functionality of consumer objects.  Spectacle in Murphy’s work is counter-balanced with humor and gestures of futility by (over)extending the corporeal body, using props and costumes, and demonstrating the inadequacies of consumer objects. Notably, Murphy’s practice draws from first-hand experience within the American Space Program; as a photographer for NASA from 2004 to 2015, she/they accumulated understanding of NASA’s science pedagogy and PR methodology. This informs her/their exploration of: Utopic space, human rights, Big Bang, birth, counter culture, Anthropocene, urban space, lens-based history, Space exploration, and the extraterrestrial. Murphy’s research orbits around those omitted from popularized narratives of these topics.

Murphy earned a MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago as a New Artist’s Society Fellow (2017) and a BFA from the Cleveland Institute of Art. Murphy has participated in several artist’s residencies including: Mana Contemporary Miami, SITELAB at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and Elsewhere (Greensboro, NC). Murphy’s interdisciplinary work has been exhibited in NYC, Paris, Switzerland, Guatemala City, Chicago, Miami, San Francisco, Cleveland and throughout the Midwest. Murphy co-curates the art and culture publication MAKE8ELIEVE with Cetusss (Swiss Artist + Designer). Murphy has lectured at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), University of Chicago, University of New Mexico, Loyola University, Ithaca College, Cleveland Institute of Art, and Cuyahoga Community College.