Welcome to austinagrodolce … My family and I garden with more intention and enthusiasm than allocated budget or overall design plan. It shows. Wildlife populations don't seem to notice our lack of cohesive design, they just like the native plants here. It seems by growing local we've thrown out a welcome mat. Occasionally, we're surprised at who (and what) shows up.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

I'll show you mine if.....

To coldly go....
One of local food columnist/blogger Addie Broyle's most popular features on her Relish Austin site is "What's in Your Fridge Friday", where she offers up a profile combined with a photograph of the inside that person's refrigerator. Broyles asks a series of questions of each person profiled, such as "What three things are always in your fridge?". While this is not exactly groundbreaking journalism, for me this feature has been a harmless way to indulge my inner voyeur, a chance to get a peek inside other people's typically private spaces.

Here's a recent example, showing the interior of local chef Josh Watkins' refrigerator. Most of the photos are taken by the person profiled so they are what they are.Taking a similar concept all the way to the "art" setting on the dial, award winning San Antonio based photographer Mark Menjivar offers up a fascinating look inside the refrigerator in a series I recently spotted (thank you Eat Me Daily). Thoughtfully considering what it reveals when we look inside this simultaneously private and public space found in nearly every home, he has assembled a series of portraits from across the country.

From his website"You Are What You Eat" where Menjivar writes:

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.

Here's an appetizer:Midwife/Middle School Science Teacher | San Antonio, TX | 3-Person Household (including dog) | First week after deciding to eat locally grown vegetables. | 2008

When visiting his site allow yourself time and be sure to let your mouse linger over each photo to pull up a description of how many in the household, along with a few personal details I think you'll find fascinating. [I want this to be easy for you. Go here. Click on "portfolio", click again on "you are what you eat" then click one last time on "images".]

To be fair, here's a wider shot inside the freezer here at AustinAgrodolce. We currently have three people living here along with two cats, and will soon reach our one year anniversary of having shifted most of our food dollars to a local food co-op that emphasizes local organic sustainable food options whenever possible.I think you can tell two things at a glance: 1) how organized I am (not) and 2) nobody will go hungry here any time soon.

What would happen if a photographer showed up today and asked to see what was inside your refrigerator? Would you feel comfortable sharing what's behind those closed doors with the wider world? Does the food you have in your refrigerator say anything about you people wouldn't otherwise guess? Would a snapshot of your refrigerator project a portrait you are comfortable with?


Addie said...

Hey, Deb! Awesome post! I hadn't seen that guy's work, but I agree that we can learn a lot from seeing each others' fridges.

See you soon!


PassivePastry said...

oh my garsh I am doing this in my blog as soon as i get a free chance..... fun!