Shaun Slifer

installation view, Pittsburgh Biennial, Miller Gallery, 2011

Macho B
acrylic & vinyl on wood

In the later half of 2011, the Justseeds Artists' Cooperative was featured as part of the 2011 Pittsburgh Biennial at the Miller Gallery in Carnegie Mellon University (curated by Astria Suparak). Seventeen Justseeds members filled the 2nd floor gallery at the Miller with a landscape of billboards, built largely from recycled materials and thematically centered around immigration issues. Hoping to evoke circus-poster hyperbole, I focused on the story of Macho B, a 15 year-old male jaguar whose territory criss-crossed the US/Mexico border until he was captured and euthanized under suspect circumstances in March of 2009. Until November 2011, he was considered to have been the last documented wild jaguar roaming within the United States. Images of all the billboards in the exhibition can be seen here.

In March of 2012, Jessica McPherson and I conducted an interview with Janay Brun, who worked with researchers to track Macho B and was the whistle-blower who sparked the federal investigation into his death. The interview, with photos, can be read in two parts here (part one) and here (part two).

I collaborated on a print version of this billboard with Janay for the Justseeds/Culture Strike portfolio "Migration Now!", released in 2013.