Artist's Statement

Shawn Bush

As a male who grew up in the wake of Detroit’s automobile fueled economy and currently lives in the “cowboy state” - Wyoming, USA - aspects of an antiquated and fleeting definition of maleness have been invariably present in my life. My project Between Gods and Animals looks at the communities who choose to disregard the growing seismic shift in American gender equality. Across years of observation and membership, the doctrine was uniform. How the performance manifests or displays itself does not matter, assumed supremacy at all costs is the objective. Inspired by personal experience, the confluence of villain’s and hero’s in 1960’s Revisionist Western cinema and present day revelations, Between Gods & Animals is a survey of the straight white male’s endless pursuit to sustain power and inability to live by their own set of codes. In a culture where patriarchal structures are beginning to erode, the struggle to maintain influence, control and liberties of yesteryear remain constant for their imagined empire. The dismantling of historical icons and everyday definitions of virility mark a timely subversion to the recognized and outdated socio-political hierarchies that govern Western culture. Comparing historical standards of ordinary masculine conduct to its contemporary counterpart, the work reflects a nation in flux. One whose ideology and positionality is being reinterpreted, questioned and displaced after centuries of ruthlessly establishing itself as an unequivocal superior. Between Gods & Animals is displayed as 8x10 inch silver gelatin contact prints in untreated Pine frames along with an artist book.