That’s an association of words I never thought I’d use. But if you watch Christopher Jonassen’s set of photographs called Devour, you will see that I’m not using any poetic language.
Christopher Jonassen is a 35 year old internationally appreciated visual artist based in Norway. His appreciation comes from the beautiful and original pieces he creates, and his series Devour is the perfect proof to stand by this assertion.
Destruction as inspiration for creation
When looking at the photographs from Devour, one wonders what undiscovered planets they are witnessing, a legit question, given the realism of the shots taken of worn-out… frying pan bottoms. The recycling of ordinary objects into works of art is not something new anymore, but seeing the impeccable job that Christopher Jonassen did, it can only leave us amazed.
The idea came to the photographer while he was living in Australia as a student and observed the way in which the kitchen utensils were deteriorating. This got him into thinking about how even the apparently insignificant traces we leave behind can affect the planet. This, along with Jean-Paul Sartre’s quote “To eat is to appropriate by destruction”, inspired him to represent this idea in a rather literal manner.
A planetary system in a kitchen
After collecting the number of burnt and scraped pans that he needed, Jonassen got to work. By photographing their decrepit bottoms on a black surface and eliminating any extra elements (the handles, for example) in post-production, the artist managed to realistically make them look like strange planets. The scratches and burns of the frying pans are so detailed, that they actually look like craters and ditches of planets. The black background gives them a mysterious allure and fools us into thinking that we are watching strange celestial bodies through a telescope.
For Christopher Jonassen, the way in which people treat the planet is an important issue, and the collection is a statement of the harmful cycle of consumption, waste and consequently, destruction.