Art Exhibit: Chris Jordon’s Intolerable Beauty at PCNW

Wow.  That’s what I said when I first saw the cover of the Stranger last week.  It was a photo of an awe inspiring number of discarded cell phones.  I loved what the photographer was getting at – the simultaneous horror and errie appeal of mass consumption. 
Today I got my butt down to PCNW (Photographic Center North West) to see the rest of the exhibit which was awesome.  The cell phone photo was the one that still evoked the most emotion for me – there’s something about the way cell phones are loved that made the photo really sad.  Imagining how much these gadgets meant to their owner and then suddenly they were discarded.  Reminded me of the Velveteen Rabbit!  Plus, unlike the photo of crushed cars (who doesn’t love crushed cars?) there was a sense of repetition and style in the forms of the cell phones that was really beautiful and pathetic.  Seeing how some of the older phones looked so outdated and yet the newer phones are going to look just as outdated really made me think about how temporary design trends are.  It was like each phone represented an individual person at a single point in time.  Woooo!
The exhibit is showing through Oct 15 – the photos are HUGE in real life and you’ve got to see them in real life to get the full impact. PCNW is on 12th just South of Pike in Capitol Hill (across from Seattle U).  If you don’t get down there to see it in person, I bought the book if you are at my workplace and want to stop by my desk.
“Our consumerism hold an anesthetizing 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… So perhaps my photographs can serve as portals to a kind of cultural self-reflection. It may not be the most comfortable terrain, but I have heard it said that in risking self-awareness, at least we know we are awake.”

– Chris Jordan

Posted in Art

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