Susana Raab set off to visually chronicle a nation in a self-inflicted national health crisis.
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.”
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.”