By Elena Bruess – May 2020
For the past few weeks I have been taking photographs of changing food habits, cooking, areas of trash and places that remind me of all three. I wanted to capture food through a colder city setting and kinder home settings – food seen through windows, shuttered restaurants, urban gardens and alley dumpsters. The images found right near my doorstep seemed to highlight either distance or fantasy.
The only image that was taken inside shows CLOROX wipes, which now gives me the feeling of fear and of waste. The rest I took while walking through my neighborhood, especially during quieter times and dimmer days. Montrose Avenue, the main street closest to my apartment, is often alarmingly empty of people now.
These photos both comfort me and leave me feeling closed off. It’s like when I smell my neighbor’s cooking. I am consistently reminded that we are all very near to each other. But, in reality, we are far away, behind brick walls and mirrored windows.
Photo at top: Cara Larson holds up her bread starter. She’s been baking homemade bread. We yelled conversation at each other from opposite sides of her window. (Elena Breuss/Medill)