Kenyon College

Drawing E. Obsoleta


(screencap from film)

Artist: Jeff Whetstone
Title of Work: Drawing E. obsoleta
Year:  2011
Material: 11 min. film
Photo Line: Collection of the Artist
Collection Credit: Courtesy of the Artist

An inky snake writhes in a stark white container. In Drawing E. obsoleta, Whetstone endeavors to prod a snake into theoutline of a landscape but the snake refuses to surrender to his manipulative maulstick. Trained in zoology, Whetstone explores the relationship between humans, animals and their ecosystems in his work. In addition to these themes, Drawing E. obsoleta illustrates art’s ability to distort the natural world. The opposing interests of artist and subject are echoed in the sharp contrasts of dark and light. Named E. obsoleta for the species of its subject, the film’s medium itself seems obsolete. The image flickers and fades without warning, with the spontaneity of an untamed creature. Whetstone’s decision to play the film in a perpetual loop further enforces the snake’s captivity, prolonging its effort to evade the artist’s vision.

–Virginia McBride ‘15, Gund Gallery Volunteer