Our favourite part in MTV Cribs (come on, we've all been hungover enough to have watched it at least once) is when the Z-lister celebrity opens their fridge door. The food choices a person makes offers a fascinating insight - especially when said celebrity seems to have staged a fake fridge which contains things they probably never eat.
There are no 'show' fridges in Mark Menjivar's You Are What You Eat - a series of portraits made by examining the interiors of refrigerators in homes across the United States.
The portraits range from rich and poor, vegetarian and Republican, members of the National Rifle Association and others. In an email to HuffPost UK Lifestyle, he wrote: "For three years I traveled around the country exploring food issues. The more time I spent speaking and listening to individual stories, the more I began to think about the foods we consume and the effects they have on us as individuals and communities.
This fridge belongs to a Brooklyn food artist who runs a small vegan bakery from her apartment
"An intense curiosity and questions about stewardship led me to begin to make these unconventional portraits. A refrigerator is both a private and a shared space. One person likened the question, “May I photograph the interior of your fridge?” to asking someone to pose nude for the camera. Each fridge is photographed “as is”. Nothing added, nothing taken away."
The inspiration for the project came after he was working on a documentary about hunger and on a whim, took a photograph of his fridge. It showed him an aspect about himself he hadn't looked at before.
Talking about what he found in other people's fridges, he says: "I have found all sorts of things - hair, towels, batteries, bugs, placentas, snakes, film etc. I once met a guy that only stored cashmere sweaters in his fridge. He agreed to be in the project, but unfortunately our schedules never came together."
In total, the exhibition has over images, and Mark has spent time travelling to over 20 communities to talk about it. Take a look at a brief extract:
Street Advertiser, 1-person household, lives on $432 fixed monthly income in San Antonio, Texas
Midwife/middle school science teacher, 4-person household (including dog), San Antonio, Texas. First week after deciding to eat all local produce
Short order cook, 2-person household from Marathon, Texas. She can bench press over 300lbs
Owner of defunct amusement park, 1-person household, former World War Two prisoner of war who lives in Alpine, Texas
Anesthesiologist, 3-person household. Youngest son works on crab boat in Alaska and this was taken the day after Thanksgiving in Forth Worth, Texas
Bartender, 1-person household. Goes to sleep at 8am and wakes up at 4pm daily. Lives in San Antonio, Texas
Botanist, 1-person household, Fort Wayne, Indiana. Feels more comfortable among the flora and fauna of his era than people
Carpenter/photographer, 3-person household from San Antonio, Texas. 12-point buck shot on family property
Construction worker/housewife, 4-person household from San Angelo, Texas. Wakes every morning at 4am to cook breakfast for family
Documentary film makers, 3-person household from San Diego, California. Efforts have helped send millions of dollars to children in Uganda
To see the rest of Mark's work, visit his website here.
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