American dinnertime clearly isn’t ever the idyllic, cheery vistum we see in movies. Between work, homework and social intentions, it can be hard to find occasion to cook a meal, let alone chew around the same counter as your family or roommates.
From 2013 to 2015, artist Lois Bielefeld traveled the commonwealth taking photographs of Americans during their normal weeknight meal. This week, those fascinating photos are on display at the International Center of Photography in New York City.
Since Bielefeld is based in Milwaukee, she shot most of her photos around the Midwest, she told HuffPost. She’d ask her themes in advance to just cook meat and go about their evening routines as usual, arriving at their residences just before dinnertime to move both impartial photographs and likeness, with topics constituted in her signature serious-faced form.
It’s key to notice that hardly any of the photos facet a family of four in a breakfast nook, Bielefeld said.
“The American ideal is to eat a home-cooked snack as a family around a table with no distractions while talking about the day … This was rarely the client during my photographs, ” she told HuffPost. “Some houses would picnic on the floor each night while another gentleman always stood against the countertop, reading the newspaper and glancing out the window while he chews. Other families ate in different parts of the home and all readied their own quick meal.”
Solo dinners are normal, too.
“Another reality is that numerous beings chew alone, which is not always a sad or outcast thought, ” Bielefeld told ICP.
Amen to THAT. Check out some of the photos from Bielefeld’s sequence below.
Bielefeld is represented by Portrait Society Gallery. You can see more of her work at loisbielefeld.com.
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