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Drawing E. obsoleta

© Jeff Whetstone. Still courtesy of Julie Saul Gallery, New York.

Drawing E. obsoleta

Artist: Jeff Whetstone (born in Chattanooga, Tennessee, 1968)
Date: 2011
Medium: 16mm film transferred to HD video (black and white)
Dimensions:
8:34 minutes
State: 3
Edition: 7
Classification: Video
Credit Line: Museum purchase with funds provided by Jennifer McCracken New (A.B.’90, J.D.’94) and Jason G. New (J.D.’94), in honor of Trevor Schoonmaker and Prospect.4
Label Text:Jeff Whetstone’s video, Drawing E. obsoleta, addresses humans’ relationship to nature and their desire to manipulate it. He places a black rat snake (Latin name E. obsoleta), common in southeastern states, in a white container and attempts to draw with its dark form, prodding and moving it with a stick. The video, shot in black and white directly above the container, presents the scene from Whetstone’s point of view, emphasizing the centuries-old role of artists controlling representations of nature. The snake’s inability to obey Whetstone’s directions for the impossible drawing reveal the uselessness of the endeavor, as well as the often impractical human urge to dominate the environment.
Object number: 2018.5.3