Mark Menjivar

So I have been thinking alot about who we are, what we carry with us and what we become without our stuff. I have had to shed a lot of my stuff these last few months, streamlining shall we say. Most of it precious, and some stuff just had been around too long. Everyone has baggage, some visible, some subsurface.
Mark Menjivar has found a really interesting way of looking at who we are – through food. you are what you eat is this great study of organized chaos in a small space- our habits, needs, comfort, control, and desire all in one footprint, without a single face to see. We see what baggage people bring to something so vital as food. I am really compelled by the rorsach test that these images become. I want to know more about them, see them, but being deprived of a face to a fridge, I also appreciate not knowing, and enjoying their anonymity as they would respect mine.

From the top –

Bar Tender | San Antonio, TX | 1-Person Household | Goes to sleep at 8AM and wakes up at 4PM daily. | 2008

Street Advertiser | San Antonio, TX | 1-Person Household | Lives on $432 fixed monthly income. | 2007

Red Cross Board Member | San Antonio, TX | 1-Person Household | Sleeps with a loaded .45 pistol on nightstand. | 2008

Midwife/Middle School Science Teacher | San Antonio, TX | 3-Person Household (including dog) | First week after deciding to eat all local produce. | 2008

Here is Mark’s statement about the work –

You Are What You Eat is a series of portraits made by examining the interiors of refrigerators in homes across the Untied States.

For three years I traveled around the country exploring the issue of hunger. 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. 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.

These are portraits of the rich and the poor. Vegetarians, Republicans, members of the NRA, those left out, the under appreciated, former soldiers in Hitler’s SS, dreamers, and so much more. We never know the full story of one’s life.

My hope is that we will think deeply about how we care. How we care for our bodies. How we care for others. And how we care for the land.

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