Jody Fausett: Home again

New book celebrates Georgia photog's 'Domestic Surreal'

Second Place is a collaboration between Graphic Havoc, a Brooklyn-based design firm run by Atlanta College of Art and Georgia Tech grads, and Georgia-born photographer Jody Fausett. Conversant in the parlance of both glossy Manhattan-style periodicals and Atlanta's gallery scene, Fausett's photos have appeared in Time Out and Surface and at Whitespace and TEW Galleries.

The book attests to Fausett's continuing fascination with the Domestic Surreal: a collision of home and the paranormal undoubtedly informed by the inside-out vantage of an artistic man growing up in rural Georgia. His aunts and grandparents and their shag-carpeted homes are willing participants in Fausett's set design, offering up their cluttered kitchen tables, fuchsia tracksuits and well-maintained rifles for the show. Between the photograph-posing, the moonshine-making and the family avocation of taxidermy, Fausett's Dawsonville kin clearly share his knack for keeping busy.

A mounted deer's head lays in the middle of a living room. A pair of baby 'possums dangles from a majorette's baton. A lithe, naked girl seated on a coffee table is doused in a fog of baby powder by an older woman in sweatpants. Bizarre mists, ectoplasmic plumes of smoke and bright lights emerge from mouths, guns and makeup mirrors in Second Place like sinister portals to another dimension in Fausett's North Georgia sci-fi.

Though sex is largely absent from the tableaux of taxidermy and wood-paneled rec rooms that have defined his gallery shows, Second Place brings sex to the fore. Structured like a coming-of-age story book starring another Atlantan, artist Shana Robbins, Second Place feels loosely autobiographical in telling the story of an exotic redhead navigating the backyard animal pens and shag-carpeted living rooms of Fausett's creepy-cool sci-fi domestic.

It is clear from the work, but also from an interview with GHava's David Merten in Second Place, that home is not just a sinister but also an inspired place for the artist, a continuing source of fascination for Fausett as the wellspring of his own unique point of view.

GHava Press. $28. 120 pages. Available online and locally at Whitespace Gallery, 814 Edgewood Ave.

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