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Thilde Jensen June 25, 2012

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.

Jess at School, Syracuse, New York 2009

Thilde Jensen (1971, Denmark) attended the  European Film College and K.U.B.A. School of Fine Art Photography. After moving to New York, she attended the School of Visual Arts. Her work has been exhibited at the Society of Contemporary Photography in Kansas City, the New Century Artist Gallery and The Back Room Gallery in New York City, and the Kunsthal Charlottenborg in Copenhagen. A solo exhibition of Canaries was previously represented at Light Work in Syracuse in July, 2011. Thilde’s photographs have appeared in: The Observer, Contact Sheet, The New York Times Sunday Review, Double Take Magazine, Newsweek Magazine, Details Magazine, and Blender Magazine among others.

About the Photograph:

“The Canaries series is a personal account of life on the edge of modern civilization – as one of the human canaries, the first casualties of a ubiquitous synthetic chemical culture. Since World War II the production and use of synthetic petroleum derived chemicals has exploded. We live in a world today where man-made chemicals are part of every breath we take and where electromagnetic emissions are beaming at us from every corner. As a result it is believed that more than ten million Americans have developed a disabling condition referred to as Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) or Environmental Illness (EI). MCS is a condition in which the immune and central nervous systems go into extreme reactions when exposed to small amounts of daily chemicals like perfume, cleaning products, car exhaust, printed matter, construction materials and pesticides.”

“When the delicate balance of life first has been broken there seems no end to how sensitive we can become or to which element one might sensitize. In addition to chemicals some react to food, electromagnetic fields, textiles and even light – making life a near impossibility. Many people with MCS/EI end up living as refugees in remote areas out of tents, cars, or retrofitted trailers, away from dangers of neighbors’ chemical use. Others are prisoners of their homes, with advanced air filter systems to keep outside air from contaminating their breathing space. At the core of the bizarre, and sometimes freakish, appearance of Environmental Illness is a questioning of the sanity of a human world continuing to develop in a manner that is toxic to life itself.”