Sunday, January 24, 2010

Photo-Force/Oregon Food Bank Exhibition

On Thursday night, I dropped into this photo show and fundraiser, which turned out to be one of the most visually brilliant and moving art shows I've seen in Portland. I couldn't help but jot down my thoughts, which just bubbled as I took in image after image.

Farmers, who barely make enough to keep their farms going, donating a portion of their crops. Starting organizations, like Farmers Ending Hunger. Migrant workers, picking turnips on their knees to make a living. Hard work and sweat that goes into harvesting food that often goes to waste.

The Oregon Food Bank collects and redistributes discarded food. And the Blanchet House, taking in leftover deli items, turns them into mix-matched meals. Like shrimp salad on toast, which almost looked gourmet. I was moved by the image of this beautiful composition - food that was destined for the garbage, rescued and replated with care. Served to those in need. Dignifying them with a colorful, healthy meal. Respecting the people, but also respecting the food. The edible. A pile of carrots covered in dirt and dust is food. Bread on the verge of going stale is food. People who are helping, feeding, other people.

Four photographers collaborated on this project. These images (taken on my iphone, really doing them little justice) are by Steven Scardina. His photos especially (color, action) reminded me of the work of my favorite photographer, Andreas Gursky.

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