reviews

Jerstin Crosby

Good Citizen

For Jerstin Crosby’s first exhibition in Saint Louis, “In the Manner of Smoke,” he plastered the gallery’s full-size, outdoor billboard with an image of two men, their faces covered by bandannas, displaying a spray-painted banner that reads YOU CANNOT CONTROL WHAT IS WILD. The work alludes simultaneously to a 2001 arson action by the Earth Liberation Front, in which that slogan was found spray-painted amid the burned remains of a poplar farm, and to Edward Abbey’s 1975 novel, The Monkey Wrench Gang, in which the titular proto-ecoterrorists burn, among other things, dozens of commercial billboards. Displayed here, the message was also directed squarely at Monsanto, the infamous Saint Louis–based biotechnology company (though divested of any explicitly environmentalist context, the banner might also refer to the figures who hold it—black-bloc anarchists or other “wild” activists of their

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