The Art of Consumption

October 14, 2014 to January 18, 2015

Photography has been used since its earliest days to both document and reflect upon humanity’s relationship with the natural world. In the 1960s, photographers began to move away from the natural realism of Ansel Adams (American, 1902–84) toward a more conceptual approach to landscape photography. The 1970s saw the emergence of environmental documentary photography, which produced images that sparked new scientific and environmental conversations. Photography bridged the gap between art and life, creating images that forced viewers to see beyond pure representation and instead explore their personal insights and perceptions of the world. More recently, photographers have demonstrated the medium’s ability to raise new questions about human consumption and environmental sustainability.

The nine works on view here convey both literal and abstract notions of consumption. They have been selected to complement the themes of the Sustainable Consumption Research and Action Initiative (SCORAI)’s annual conference, held in Eugene this fall. By examining government strategies that promote sustainable consumption, SCORAI aims to develop a policy framework for local community involvement and action.

This exhibition was organized by Samantha Hull, a 2013 graduate of the Department of the History of Art and Architecture. The JSMA would like to thank Babe O’Sullivan, Sustainability Liaison for the City of Eugene, for bringing this conference to our attention.