Chris Jordan’s photographic works are extremely memorable. He knows how to create retinal appeal to be sure, but he also packs a political wallop. Some of you may know of his photographs of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, In Katrina’s Wake: Portraits of Loss from an Unnatural Disaster, published earlier this year.
Another of his series, “Intolerable Beauty”, explores the country’s overlooked underbelly of the abandoned, forgotten and discarded. As Jordan says, “Exploring around our country’s shipping ports and industrial yards, where the accumulated detritus of our consumption is exposed to view like eroded layers in the Grand Canyon, I find evidence of a slow-motion apocalypse in progress. I am appalled by these scenes, and yet also drawn into them with awe and fascination. The immense scale of our consumption can appear desolate, macabre, oddly comical and ironic, and even darkly beautiful; for me its consistent feature is a staggering complexity.”
Jordan has a new show, “Running the Numbers,” now on view at Von Lintel Gallery in New York. In this new series, Jordan goes after American consumerism:
This series focuses on contemporary American culture through the unassailable lens of statistics. Each intricately detailed and astounding image, assembled from thousands of smaller photographs, portrays a specific quantity of a particular object: 15 million sheets of office paper (demonstrating five minutes of paper use), 1.14 million paper bags (the number used every hour) and so on. Images representing these quantities have a different and more lasting effect than the raw numbers alone, bypassing the numbing effect of facts and figures and giving viewers a visceral sense of the dizzying enormity of our society.
These large-scale works perform dual roles as compelling visual images and as invitations for viewers to reflect on their roles and responsibilities as individuals in hypermodern American mass culture.
Von Lintel Gallery , in Chelsea (NYC), June 14 to July 30.
For more images, visit Jordan’s website.
Thank you to Jill Fineberg for sending me this link.
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