The Vanitas theme common in Dutch and Flemish 16th and 17th century paintings has recently been reinterpreted in the works of Mariele Neudecker.
Choosing the modern representation of the common symbols used in paintings back then, the photographer refers to the idea of the worthless nature of all earthly goods. However, in ‘Plastic Vanitas’, as the title suggests, all objects photographed are made from plastic. The material, often connoting cheap taste and mass production is here juxtaposed with dramatic light and aesthetics reflecting the vanity of all things. Everyday objects, reproduced in thousands of copies and often utterly kitsch, are set in such a serious context that it might be even disturbing for the viewer. In that way, ‘Plastic Vanitas’ is an interesting reminder of the futility of contemporary consumerism.
All images by Mariele Neudecker.