I don't believe in culture ... I believe in encounters. -- Gilles Deleuze

Jonathan Peterson

August 11th - September 1st 2023

Reception Saturday August 12th 6 pm
Artist Talk and Panel August 27th 1 pm

Meanwhile, in the space between

Jonathan Peterson’s photographs confront inherited mythologies to construct a clear view of reality while engaging the sublime and beautiful aspects of precarity, human-alterations to the landscape of the American South, as well as conceptual linkages between these alterations and human idiosyncrasies in general.

Featured image: Makeshift plumbing, Great Stuff, at my uncle Ronnie’s house, Pride, LA, 2022

Jonathan Peterson is trustworthy, but his work is not. What at first appears to be the transient formal intuitions and curiosities of a photographer quickly reveals a strong sculptural fix and a soft, latent conceptualism.

Peterson is a Louisiana native, and the witnessing of his home plays a central role here. Yet the common moralistic aspect of documentary photography is well-tempered. Instead, a more delicate repertoire of slight but profound photographic traces assembles to create a new world of form, color, and meaning.

Peterson’s photos avoid closure and never feel evasive, cloying, or premeditated. Each work is an opening that enacts some transmutation of what came before. Tantra, or connection, is central and the formal alliance here is clear. If they are united thematically, it is by the common ground of pathology: a well-loved relative in her dying process, the ruins of a mentally ill uncle’s home that he crafted intuitively with whatever was at hand to perform constructions and repairs that exceed utility, elemental processes of fire and water.

In their framing and in the maturity of their intimacy, these may be the curious and alluring subjects of the photographer as social conscience. But Peterson’s choreography with them is not simple. There is a quality of intervention and compassionate direction of the world that is what most excites the viewer in this work; an artistic praxis of leadership, decoupled from that term’s association with power or administration.

Imagine a psychotherapist of the phenomenal world engaged in a gestalt ritual – softly asking the world to examine itself and ask what it can do and what it could do better.


Jonathan Peterson (b. 1985) studied photography at Louisiana State University and Texas A&M- Commerce, eventually graduating from LSU with a bachelor’s in art.  He returned to LSU in 2021 where he recently completed an interdisciplinary master’s degree in 2023.  His research revolves around behavior analysis, creativity, and the liberal arts educational ethos.

He is currently in the third year of a photographic project exploring the linkages between memory, mythology, and environment through the landscape and place of south Louisiana. Jonathan was the chief photographic documentarian for our 2023 event, Can I Ball? with Tunde Wey. Images from that event are available on his website.





Pricing and further documentation available on request. To purchase work, contact gallery@yeswecannibal.org. All work is copyright of the artist 2023.