Sunday, March 06, 2011

Where is the anger? Where is the grief? Missing feelings

Chris Jordan makes artworks of shocking statistics. His goal is to elicit anger and grief as healthy responses to the realities of western (especially US) consumerism and its contradictions, poisons and victims ("those who inherit the results of our decisions"). He fears that these responses have gone missing from our culture. He is trying to translate deadly statistics into a language that can be felt in order to open a space for reflection and change.

If you don't feel sick in the pit of your stomach during this video, either (a) he's failed or (b) you're numb (or (c) you haven't recently eaten something questionable, which may be the case with me).


Andrea Jag said...

Hi hi

Can't say I am sickened by it, nor am I surprised by it. Certainly composition took my interest with the breast augmentations and the smoking skull. The others had a little less impact due to their lack of integration between subject and artwork.

As a person who has pain killers and anti anxiety drugs (and has experienced OD of them though I do not think it nearly as dangerous as say paracetamol, unless with alcohol),, the stats on that interested me. The reason why people are prescribed these - well, it would be good to investigate. Is it becuase there are more instances of pain, higher levels of ability to relieve pain (would you not opt for the ability to remove it if you could), or negligence amongst the health professionals or dr shopping by patients... All is worth a thought there.

I think these artworks are good to raise awareness, though would have better "hits" if better composition on some, but specifically to make use think WHY.

When I think why on the other subjects he covered I thought very much about COMMUNITY as a source of change and improvement.

Community: the love within it, the positive peer pressure within it, care for what we have been given (written over our hearts).

We seem to have forgotten community for selfishness and capitalism - be it for advertising of being afraid of germs (plastic cups not recycled) to self centredness/recycling campaigns that make us feel good yet we do not really adhere to (coffee cups),,, or advertising and the peer pressure becuase of that medium to make us think we are missing out or should have lower self esteem if we are not perfect (breast augmentation/liposuction and cigarettes) or even the simple lack of community which pushes people to anxiety and things such as dealing with that through cigarettes and pills.

As much as I do not believe in a church state or religious state (most religions are against such things as shown),, I think the common value of love and community are key here.

If we love each other and SPEND TIME with each other rathern than spending it on being influenced to be selfish I feel that we would be a lot more accepting of each other. I feel that there may be less accidents leading to need for pain killers as people may slow down. I feel there may be less desire to reduce stress and therefore have anxiety meds or cigarettes if we actually paid attention to each other. If we lived in community I believe we would start finding our roots again including such things as saving the planet (you see this happening in some places in Australia now with green bags, active recycling, towns getting rid of bottled water and having bubblers again). If people actually lived in community and not in a land of capitalism they would likely have less body image negativity as there would be love and acceptance.

In the US I believe patriotism has replaced community to some extent, as has capitalism. Also, the lack of mandatory voting means that people will naturally not be forced to care as much. But that's just a side comment on the US.

Anyway, in saying all this... I believe the key is recognising CAPITALISM but bringing back COMMUNITY.

What are your thoughts? :)

Mike W said...

I wasn't sickened either.
(But boy do I feel smug about deciding not to buy plastic cups the other day!)