Sarah Weeden: American Tradition
I’ve always found the before and after affects of the holidays to be depressing. There is something very off about shopping for Christmas decorations in August and something alarming about how quickly each holiday is discarded in order to move on to the next. In the case of living products that are grown for holiday consumption, ie pumpkins or turkeys, the idea is even more troubling. Photographer Sarah Weeden has been chronicling the consumer cycles of the Christmas Tree by capturing the discarded carcasses of these large beautiful living things. Shot at night, her photographs are like Noir who-done-it stories, small crimes that will disappear with early morning sounds of the garbage truck.
Sarah Weeden is an artist living in Rochester, NY. She is a professor of photography and received her MFA from the Visual Studies Workshop.
Authentic trees have become synonymous with the idea of a quintessential holiday. However, as a commodity that consumers have very little connection to the production and life cycle of, holiday trees stand as an symbol of modern consumerism. Most trees grow for seven to ten years before they are sent to market, and once it has played its part in the tradition, the tree loses its symbolic value and is discarded. By focusing on the repetition of this motif, this series seeks to assemble a greater picture of mass consumption.
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