First name: Chris
Country of origin: United States
Subtheme: Environment, Conflict, Politics, Order and chaos, Society, Culture
Chris Jordan (usa, 1963) exhibits his photos all over the world. His work often focuses on mass consumption and waste, and he is regarded as a leading advocate of the usa green movement. Jordan’s photos frequently appear in magazines and newspapers and he has also published a number of books. He has won several prizes, among them the Natural World Museum and United Nations Environment Programme’s Green Leaf Award (2007) and a bronze medal at the lead Awards in the category ‘Photo of the Year’ (2010).
Intolerable Beauty: Portraits of American Mass Consumption (2005) highlights the incredible scale of Western waste. Jordan has photographed mountains of it: mobile phones, computer parts, cigarette butts, adapters. His photos are simultaneously shocking and fascinating. People are collectively responsible for the accumulation of this waste: every person makes his or her contribution, anonymously, never taking any responsibility for his or her part in the whole. Jordan hopes these photos will encourage consumer awareness and self-reflection, although he is not of course blind to his own role as one of the consumers.
In Midway (2009) Jordan again explores the waste issue, but this time from a very different angle. Every year thousands of albatross chicks die because their parents have fed them inedible ‘food’. They are choked, poisoned and starved. Jordan’s photos – taken thousands of miles from the civilised world, on an atoll in the middle of the Pacific Ocean – show their carcasses, stuffed with the plastic waste that man has dumped in the sea. All of the carcasses are photographed exactly as he found them.