It’s quite difficult to describe how fascinating it is to look in someone else’s fridge, isn’t it? It’s totally normal really, everyone’s got one after all and everyone’s got to eat. But still, when offered the chance to take a peek at what condiments someone has, what their go-to snacks, meals, veg or drinks are, you’ll always take the offer and snoop. It’s this exact reason why French photographer Olivier Degorce’s latest book Fridge Food Soul is so captivating to flick through, despite its typical subject matter of quite literally what is in different people’s fridges.
Olivier is a musician as well as a photographer and one well known in the Parisian scene, particularly within the electronic music crowd of the 1990s. His sharp eye for noticing personalities has led to a compulsive picture snapping portfolio of photography, simultaneously working on several projects at once, Fridge Food Soul just being one of them. Nevertheless, it’s one of our favourites of Olivier’s, honestly displaying his practice of probing what goes on behind closed doors as publishers Edition Patrick Frey put it. “The myriad of ways in which victuals, beverages and other items are kept and arranged in people’s refrigerators and how food packaging has evolved over the years,” it explains. “He is fascinated by everything from the colours and smells of foods to the best-before dates on packaged edibles. Whenever the opportunity arises, he raids the fridge to capture the sheer diversity of individual eating habits in the form of contemporary still lifes.”
The photographs categorised into Fridge Food Soul were taken between 1993 — 2017 and are quick snapshots into stranger’s appetites. The images have a unique perspective in that you can imagine them being taken very quickly, possibly when the home owner’s back is turned and Olivier’s grabbed a quick look. The publisher agrees, noting “the spur of the moment” quality of the photographs, “using all sorts of analogue and digital devices ranging from the most sophisticated to the most rudimentary cameras,” says Edition Patrick Frey. “In most cases, he took only one shot of each fridge. The serial collection of these snapshots in a single book testifies to the systematic, even obsessive, nature of this project.”
The publishers aren’t wrong in this nuanced description of Olivier’s project over 15 years, but all we know is that we’re feeling more nosey and hungry than ever.
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