Home bodies: Jody Fausett at White Space Gallery 

Like advertisements for a place you might not want to visit, Jody Fausett's photographs sizzle with inchoate menace. Fragility and a whiff of violence collide in a body of work centered on Fausett's kin and the vacant-eyed critters who attest to the family's favorite avocation of taxidermy.

In "Jimmy," stuffed and startled-looking bobcats, fawns and foxes pose with a woman and fudge the line between the living and the dead. The human tendency to tame, trap and spoil the wild is evident in a fat, black spider trapped in a Tupperware container, or a mounted deer head unceremoniously dumped on a living-room floor.

Fausett's settings in the White Space show Smoke from Another Fire would do David Lynch proud with their collisions of death and domesticity rendered in grubby earth tones, in rooms ornamented with Holly Hobbie switch plates and the Home Shopping Network elegance of cut-glass chandeliers. This domestic sphere becomes a kind of stage set for the photographer's potent psychodramas. Dramatic juxtapositions of shag rugs and dead things unfold before thick curtains in Dijon shades. In a cluttered bathroom, an upside-down, illuminated makeup mirror glows with an incandescent beckoning, like a portal to another dimension.

In "Broken Window," a bobcat is wedged in a vulnerable posture into the crook of a velveteen chair and hunkers down against some unseen threat. This wild animal doesn't set your teeth on edge as much as the quietly menacing domestic scene that surrounds it: from the shattered sliding glass door behind it to the table saw resting like a cobra on the patio outside.

This Atlanta-based photographer, whose fashion work for magazines like Time Out has undoubtedly influenced his aesthetic, includes enough dramatic lighting and tantalizing props to entice the eye. A pair of bobcats pose in Fausett's vacant, eerily low-lit living rooms, throwing off the attitude of teenage models. Mixed with those visually intoxicating details is another repulsive, ambiguous, death-stalked layer.

In these scenes of otherworldly innocents lost in a dangerous, domestic world, Fausett has found a metaphor for any creature who finds him or herself feeling like an alien trapped in the smothering bosom of home.

Smoke from Another Fire: Jody Fausett Photographs. Through March 31. Wed.-Sat., 11 a.m.-5 p.m. White Space, 814 Edgewood Ave. 404-688-1892. www.whitespace814.com.


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