Fast Food Nation

Susana Raab set off to visually chronicle a nation in a self-inflicted national health crisis.
Fast Food Nation
Super-Soda, Metropolis, Illinois, 2005.A man poses in front of a billboard advertising the Superman museum with a large plastic drink mug, bearing the McDonald’s logo. © Susana Raab

 

 

After reading the book Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser, artist Susana Raab decided to respond by  making a visual representation of a nation in crisis. She explains, “I guess before that I thought it was bad and the food was unhealthy, but I hadn’t seen the statistics or thought about how that manifested itself across American society. Even if you don’t eat fast food, it affects you because you’re going to be paying for someone’s diabetes treatment, or you’re subsidizing the corn that goes into the food. There all these issues involved and that’s what the book helped me articulate in my mind so I could process that into visuals.”

 

 

Fast Food Nation
America’s Favorite Clown, Athens, Ohio, 2005.The feet of fast food icon Ronald McDonald overwhelm those of a young girl posing with him for a photograph at a children’s fundraising event. © Susana Raab

 

Fast Food Nation
Corn-Dog, LaBelle, Florida, 2006.”I knew I shouldn’t have asked him if he wanted the foot-long corn dog,” said this boy’s father while watching him tackle eating the large dog. © Susana Raab

 

Once Raab set off on this journey to create Consumed, she realized how ubiquitous fast food symbols were. She didn’t need to go far from her home to photograph the exact subject Fast Food Nation discussed. Raab says, “There’s a disconnect in what we’re doing to ourselves, not just our bodies but our landscape. We’re a nation of strip malls and awful plastic things made in China. I’m not judging anyone individually, but as a society we’ve just become overrun by fast food.”

 

 

Fast Food Nation
Food-Fighters, Coney Island, NY, 2005..”Food-fighters,” as the competitors in Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest are called, tackle plates of hot dogs while umpires look on. © Susana Raab

 

Fast Food Nation
Hot Dog Platter, Coney Island, New York, 2004. A hand reaches out for a Nathan’s Famous hot dog from the platter given to members of the press following the Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest. © Susana Raab

 

Fast Food Nation
Praise the Bratwurst, McArthur, Ohio, 2004. A man lifts up his hands in praise in front of a bratwurst booth during an early morning gospel show at the Wild Turkey Festival in McArthur, Ohio. © Susana Raab

 

Fast Food Nation
Looking Finger-Lickin’ Good, London, Kentucky, 2007.Three competitors in the annual Col. Saunder’s look-alike contest held at the World Chicken Festival, prepare to face-off, with a quick run of the comb through the hair. © Susana Raab

 

Fast Food Nation
Taco-Bell Drive-Thru, Daytona, Florida, 2006. “I bet you’ve never seen this before,” said the customer at the Taco-Bell Drive Through window as he picked up his order after driving his vehicle, a motorized wheelchair, through the drive-thru lane. © Susana Raab

 

 

 

Read the full article at: www.slate.com