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Intolerable Beauty by Chris Jordan

Apr 8, 2014 by     No Comments    Posted under: Paranoias

Intolerable Beauty: Portraits of American Mass Consumption, is a visually beautiful series by photographer Chris Jordan and the same time a very concerning call about the consumer market in US and all around over the world with significant negative effects for our delicate planet. The complete series are available here.

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.

The pervasiveness of our consumerism holds a seductive kind of mob mentality. Collectively we are committing a vast and unsustainable act of taking, but we each are anonymous and no one is in charge or accountable for the consequences. I fear that in this process we are doing irreparable harm to our planet and to our individual spirits. As an American consumer myself, I am in no position to finger wag; but I do know that when we reflect on a difficult question in the absence of an answer, our attention can turn inward, and in that space may exist the possibility of some evolution of thought or action. So my hope is that these photographs can serve as portals to a kind of cultural self-inquiry. It may not be the most comfortable terrain, but I have heard it said that in risking self-awareness, at least we know that we are awake.

Submitted by César Couto

Founder of Paranoias, I was born in São Miguel, the biggest island from the archipelago of the Azores in Portugal. I'm a freelancer in web development and web design and I'm passionate about design, technology and photography. Socially, I'm everywhere, Facebook, Google+ or Twitter, but I normally post in Portuguese.


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