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Elspeth Diederix's 'Still Life With Milk'

In "Still Life With Milk," Elspeth Diederix aims to make mundane things appear to become abstract and, she says, "start to live a life of their own.''
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Friday, February 18, 2011


In Elspeth Diederix's "Still Life With Milk,'' a puddle of spilled liquid is framed by mundane things. They're mostly American consumer products, brightly colored and festooned with logos. But the photographer didn't intend them to look familiar.

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"My work is inspired by those moments when everyday objects lose their logic and become abstract,'' she explains by e-mail from the Netherlands, her homeland. "Moments when you are suddenly overwhelmed by the invasion of objects and how they start to live a life of their own.''

The photograph was made in New York, which is why such convenience store staples as Gatorade, Camel cigarettes and Trident gum were close at hand. Diederix notes that "everything in the image was lying on the table, although in a different composition." That includes the plastic hand at upper left.

One way to heighten the oddness of the commonplace is by printing the image so large: nearly six feet high. The goal, Diederix writes, is "to make the viewer take a second look at such 'normal' everyday objects that you would normally not give a second glance.''

- Mark Jenkins

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