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Jeff Whetstone: New Wilderness: Seducing Birds, Snakes, Men

Whetstone’s photographs depict the thin veil of wilderness surrounding the shrinking farmland and small towns of the southern United States. Whetstone calls it New Wilderness. Unlike preserved parts, this landscape is unkempt and hungry. This landscape and its inhabitants are not depicted as a part of the Edenic garden of our Arcadian fantasy. They rise from the wild and are bound to it. Whetstone’s videos explore the nexus of language and instinct. Human rituals map the wilderness and dissipate the delineation of gender and species. Whetstone’s 14 minute video, On the use of a Syrinx, translates the sounds of the primeval forest into a narrative of seduction and domination, where the resplendent Southern camouflages sexual fantasy.

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