Neil Atherton

My American Fridge #2 depicts a hamburger in an otherwise empty freezer compartment of a refrigerator. The appliance in question was in my New York appartment, when I lived there in 2003.

By European standards, American fridges are enormous, just like the portions of food you buy to put in them. American cities, like New York, are mostly larger than in Europe, so are their streets, their homes, their cars, their ambitions, their appetites…

When I opened up my fridge one day and found nothing but a box of frozen ‘beef patties’ in there, I questioned the necessity of such a large space for only a few pieces of meat. It reflected the attitude of many US citizens at the time with regards to the excessive consummation of fuel in their SUVs.

I photographed first the box of patties with a bottle of tomato ketchup (My American Fridge #1) and once I had prepared the hamburger, I put it back in the freezer compartment then photographed that too. America’s most famous meal looked so out of place there, alone and isolated from the more familiar context of a fast-food restaurant, where dozens of photogenically perfect burgers adorn the walls, menus and minds of its addicts.

For me, this image is representative of some of the good and bad things about the United States of America. Naivety, opportunity, greed, excess and wastefullness among them.
tous droits réservés © 2005 PARIS PHOTOGRAPHIQUE