Gideon Mendel

“I maintain the belief the photography can be both a beautiful art form and a tool for positive impact in the world. With the passing of time, I have found that many of the images have begun to take on further meaning and relevance. Developing my projects over long periods of time, I have established an approach that is very personal. My intention has always been to challenge my viewers by pushing boundaries, translating issues of global concern into work that evokes a felt response.”

Gideon Mendel came of age as a photographer in South Africa in the 1980’s and identifed strongly as a ‘struggle photographer’. This marked him and his subsequent career has been notable for his engagement with three of the crucial political and social issues that have faced his generation. These are the struggle against apartheid, HIV/ AIDS in Africa and Climate Change.A leading contemporary photographer, Gideon Mendel’s intimate style of image making and long-term commitment to projects has earned him international recognition and many awards including the inaugural Jackson Pollock Prize for Creativity and the Greenpeace Photo Award 2016. His on-going project ‘Drowning World, explores the human dimension of climate change by focusing on foods across geographical and cultural boundaries. By highlighting the personal impact of fooding he evokes our vulnerability to global warming questioning our sense of stability in the world. As the work progressed photographing foods became both a literal and allegorical means of documenting the tension between the subject personal and the global effects of climate change. Each location added has intensifed the narrative impact of the endeavour.

From Outrage to Action: Proposals for Climate, Resources and Planet 

Agnes Denes  •  Ismail Ferdous  •  Gideon Mendel    Civic Laboratory for Environmental Action Research (CLEAR), Max Liboiron, Director  •   Mark Read and Grayson Earle •  Louise Harpman,  Architecture and Urban Design LAB 2017 sponsored by Global Design NYU •   Mary Mattingly • nadahadaThe Yes Men