Artist Spotlight: Shane Rocheleau

You Are Masters Of The Fish And Birds And All The Animals

"White American Masculinity is a construct I am scarred but privileged by and thus responsible to address. It's underneath our politics and religion; it permeates our homes. And it’s scary. If you aren’t white or man enough, they’ll put you through hell: tease and shove you and feel better for beating you. So am I winning yet? Have I won the American dream? I know what I’m fighting against: myself. I've both benefited and been duped by my whiteness and maleness. Celebrating the cowboy or war hero means obscuring the emotional neglect, violence, and physical injury that a man embodying (or seeking to embody) this construct will experience or produce. My internal contradictions are a microcosm of our nation’s. Founding fathers such as Patrick Henry ("Liberty or Death!") are memorialized in myriad, public ways, while their anonymous slaves died without freedom. On one front, we fought a war for independence while on the other we did so to deprive Native Americans of theirs. And now, we continue to elect leaders who perpetuate the racist, misogynistic, homophobic, and xenophobic language that traces a history of profound othering, subjugation, and injustice. I don't know how to say it's scary to be a white man in this country, because it’s scarier to be a woman or a minority. I am he whom I fight against. This project – a portrait of a psyche – is the language I’ve thus far conceived." - Shane Rocheleau

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