Susana Raab Statement

Artist Statement
“a hungry man dreameth, and, behold, he eatheth; but he awaketh, and his soul is empty” –Isaiah, 29:8

The physical remains of our mass-consumption litter the streets while the cheap foodstuffs pollute our bodies. All the while, the signs of fast food encroach upon us: advertisements and myths promote a brighter scenario allowing us to happily refuel at the drive-through window oblivious to the cycle that we perpetuate. Americans are slaves to an industry whose influence over our society we do not fully comprehend.

Worse, we abet this national drama by worshiping the signs and totems of this junk food culture, proving that the billions spent on fast food related advertising are doing their job.

Using medium-format color film to translate the saturated colors and hyper-reality of this industry’s advertising conventions, my work seeks to obliquely answer the question, “To what extent has the fast-food industry’s marketing and nutritional practices affect Americans?” In Consumed, I see the act of eating as an act of ideology.

During travels around the U.S., I survey the landscape for signs and relics of the junk and fast-food industry. I am motivated by a foreboding sense of the absurdity of our situation. The convenience of modern living, and our easy access to ready “foodstuffs,” is destroying us, ruining our landscape, disenfranchising us from more wholesome ways of living, and we are the unwitting accessories to this crime.

Process Statement
All the images are shot with a 6x7 Mamiya rangefinder camera and most are lit with a large flash unit hand-held by myself. I use color negative film and print the images as large scale digital C-Prints. This project was begun in 2004.

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