In the turmoil of Instagram photos, some of the most popular are probably those displaying an incorrigible enthusiasm for food, and particularly sweet food. Ranging from Nutella jars to ice creams, without forgetting to mention anything that’s junk-looking and very often junk-feeding, Instagramers do not know which way to turn anymore. And their digital practice is becoming as unhealthy as their eating habits.
London artist James Ostrer’s new project, WOTSIT ALL ABOUT, presents several very much theatrical tableaux, created with layers of sweets and food of all kinds applied to the faces and bodies of human subjects, which are for the main part the artist’s himself. Wearing Ketchup tears, Kit Kat smiles, and frosted cheeks, the models are positioned and then photographed in front of opaque and often colour backgrounds, and could easily be thought as some occidental Maoris, trapped in an infernal spiral of frenetic sugar consumption.
WOTSIT ALL ABOUT appears like a sweet theatre, slightly allusive to Hansel and Gretel’s sweet house, in which one can feel the physical nostalgia for the sweets as well as the chaotic ravages self-destructive behaviours can inflict to the body.
Through this series of photographs, James Ostrer underlines the craving – if not worship – of our Western societies for anything sugary, and also strongly denounces all of the new and industrial production means, endangering our wallets as well as our bodies.
An abusive consumption of this project will certainly make you sick of the contemporary, often unhealthy and unethical means of production, and make you want to live a sugar-free life, or at least one in which your sugar consumption is part of a healthy diet.