In Western culture the female body and nature are linked, as objects of male gaze and domination, while the male body’s own involvement with the natural world is seldom considered. Yet it is through our bodies that we as men and women each constitute a part of what is human, and are all woven into the environmental fabric of the earth. This work is a response to my realization that the severing of the masculine from the living landscape is one of the ways patriarchy harms both men and women, and contributes to our present environmental crisis. In making it I had to challenge my own male biases and protective mechanisms, and to consciously adopt a strategy of “becoming visible” in my own body—stepping out from behind the camera and into the landscapes I was photographing.
In the desert I have tried to set aside my own social identity, and move away from the (mostly male) perspective that one is ever a disconnected, hidden observer of reality. The desert itself is an observer, not simply a place that I see or pass through. It perceives me as I perceive it, and I myself am a thing, a physical body among countless others with whom I share a common world. Going without clothes is a gesture by which I try to better experience and express this understanding, a way of placing myself on equal footing with all of the elements of the desert landscape. Simple pictures of things I saw, and myself seeing--plants, rocks, a male body—trying to speak of the complex entanglements of life on earth.